The National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) has successfully implemented the Open Calls Program across eight pivotal value chains bringing the total number value chains supported through this program to 10.
This is in a bid to propel local industries towards greater productivity and competitiveness, by providing them with Upgraded Equipment, breathing new life into Rwanda’s industrial landscape.
The Open Calls Program was introduced in 2018 and has become a beacon of hope for companies seeking to elevate their operations. It operates as an open competition, where enterprises can apply for support to acquire state-of-the-art equipment that catalyzes the production of locally made products within various value chains.
In the Agriculture sector, NIRDA has ushered in a farming revolution in three value chains namely poultry, piggery and animal feeds.Jean Paul Hanganimana, Managing director for Regional Food Processing Industry said says that initially, it was not easy because he used traditional and old machines and manual ways until support from NIRDA came through.
“We acquired upgraded machines on a loan that we will pay at zero interest rate. We applied for the support and we were selected from many other companies. We have acquired all the equipment as a 50% grant, 50% loan with zero interest, no collateral,” he says.’
Hanganimana is among the beneficiaries who got supported with fully automated machines in areas of feed plant, automated eggs grading, and tray-making machines.
NIRDA also acquired aflatoxin readers to ensure top-notch product quality. In addition, modern farms and abattoirs have been equipped with cutting-edge technology to raise the bar for pig production. To keep products fresh, cool facilities and refrigerated trucks have been introduced. The urbanization sector has also seen remarkable advancements in two value chains namely stone and clay for construction materials.
Companies acquired CNC Bridge saws and automated edge-polishing machines.Lime production and crushing plants are also paving the way for progress, while Caterpillar excavators and automated brick-making machines are building the future, one block at a time.
NIRDA has been working with the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) to support value chains in the both Agriculture and urbanization sectors. Selected firms acquired upgraded equipment at a 50% grand, 50% loan, zero interest and no collateral.In Wood Processing Value Chain NIRDA is crafting excellence through a range of equipment, from CBM Wood Kilns to CNC Nesting machines. Panel saws, polishing, and planning machines are delivering precision like never before.
The introduction of hot presses for plywood, stainless steel, and temperature control is setting a new standard in woodwork. In the Fruits and Vegetables Value Chain, Companies in this value chain have not only acquired upgraded equipment but have also received zero-interest loans and collateral-free support, empowering them to boost their production and quality.In a strategic partnership with OCP Group and the South Africa Trade and Development Bank, one company in Cow in the Car Value Chain is set to acquire technology through a grant, further enhancing this value chain.
As these success stories continue to unfold, NIRDA remains committed to fostering industrial growth in Rwanda. Beyond equipment acquisition, NIRDA offers business development services and technical assistance, reinforcing their commitment to the long-term success of supported companies.Dr. Christian Sekomo Birame, NIRDA Director General, expressed his optimism about the program’s impact.
“We are delighted that the majority of firms selected have acquired upgraded equipment, and we hope that this will boost productivity and competitiveness of locally made products and create more decent and productive jobs,” he added, calling for more innovations using the acquired products.
NIRDA’s Open Calls Program, supported by partners like the Belgian Development Agency Enabel in Rwanda and the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), is indeed a catalyst for industrial growth.
It showcases the government’s dedication to empowering local companies and fostering economic development. In a world of evolving industries, this initiative stands as a testament to Rwanda’s commitment to competitiveness and innovation.