Home Business & TechEconomy EU, The Netherlands to Support Construction of Horticulture Wholesale Market In Kigali

EU, The Netherlands to Support Construction of Horticulture Wholesale Market In Kigali

by Daniel Sabiiti
2:04 pm

Amparo Gonzalez Diez

The European Union (EU) in Rwanda has committed to improving the local horticulture value chain and revealed that there is a plan to open a new Kigali wholesale market which will be the largest in the East African region.

Amparo Gonzalez Diez, the EU First Secretary and Team Lead- Development, Environment, Climate, Biodiversity and Gender made the remarks this week on April 29, during the closure of a four-year project dubbed “Sustainable Livelihoods in Horticulture Value Chains” (HVC).

The project was implemented by Oxfam Rwanda in collaboration with three local implementing partners – (COCOF, DUHAMIC ADRI, and DUTERIMBERE ONG) from 2020- 2024 in four districts: Nyagatare, Kamonyi, Rulindo and Nyamagabe impacting on lives of over 21,000 smallholder farmers.

The project, which focused on 9 horticultural value chains, adopted an inclusive business approach, combining private sector development with inclusive growth objectives, to unlock the potential of Rwanda’s horticultural sector.

The nine crop value chains included Avocado, Passion fruit, Pineapple, eggplant, French beans, hot pepper, onions, tomatoes and flowers.

Godfrey Gakwandi

End projects results presented at the closure event showed that activities (skills and capacity building) reached over 21, 000 Rwandan rural farmers of which 53% were female (over 11,200) small holder farmers- with 4,100 of them in Nyagatare, Kamonyi- 7,649; Rulindo- 6, 254; and Nyamagabe- 3,409.

The project generally witnessed an increased productivity and responsiveness to climate change and market demand, enhanced returns for smallholder horticultural farmers, and access and capacity to meet market demands.

It also strengthened policy and regulatory frameworks to support smallholder farmers’ productivity, income, and marketing improvements.

As a way of sustaining the project impact, Diez said that the EU family, which has a portfolio of €380million, plans on supporting an inclusive resilient agricultural sector of which horticulture value chains are inclusive.

In this package, Diez revealed that there is the Kigali wholesale market, supported by the Netherlands, EU; but also the Government of Rwanda, which will be the first wholesale market in East Africa to be built in the special economic zone in Kigali.

“We do believe that this will increase volumes and quality particularly for horticulture value chains and will be a key development- a major milestone for rural farmers to be able to access more markets and increased revenues,” Diez stated.

Godfrey Gakwandi, an Oxfam Rwanda official who presented the project activities and end results said that there is sustainability especially banking on the skills and mindset change more results are expected in future.

“We have seen farmers adopting skills and technology in farming and learning innovative ways of farming and knowing the value of certification at the farm and market level,” Gakwandi said.

Sustainable Livelihoods in Horticulture Value Chains project beneficiaries and their products on display

Benefiting farmers stated that despite acquiring skills and capacity to increase and innovate in their farming activities, the project has been a booster to start addressing the challenge of accessing markets- one of their biggest hurdles.

Diez said that through the ongoing EU-funded Kungahara project to boost local production and consumption of healthy, sustainable, and nutritious food, they expect an exchange with Oxfam Rwanda so as to reach more farmers in the project which is now operational in 21 districts at a tune of €11million.

Egide Mutabazi, a Crop Products and Market Analyst who represented the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resource said that the government prioritizes agricultural value chain to increase production and asked partners to sustain this project by focusing on improving farmer’s mindset and skills development.

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