RWANDA – Rwanda bagged a total of US$640m in revenues from the export of agricultural products in the fiscal year 2021/2022 ended June 2022.

The earnings registered during the period under review was a 45% rise from the previous corresponding period, when revenues generated were US$ 444.8m.

The rise in performance is attributed to the measure set in place by the government following the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the global and cross-border trade, aimed to promote economic recovery.

According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), export revenues from traditional commodities i.e., coffee, tea and pyrethrum, increased by 18% to US$ 185.4m in the fiscal year 2021/2022 while non-traditional export commodities increased by 58% to US$ 455.5m.

Coffee export revenues increased by 23% while tea export revenues increased by 15% and pyrethrum export revenues increased by 12%.

Meanwhile, horticulture commodities accounted for 6.7% of total agro-export revenues with an increase of vegetable and fruit export values of 63% and 87% respectively in comparison to the previous fiscal year.

Rwanda targets to boost its horticulture export earnings to US$130 million in 2024. This will be achieved through increased investment in the sector by both the government and private investors.

Garden Fresh, a Rwandan company specialising in export of fresh produce, recently opened the country’s first privately owned packhouse located at the Prime Economic Zone in Masoro, Northern Rwanda.

Valued at US$1 million, the 600 square metre packhouse has the holding capacity of 25-30 metric tons of fresh produce, is aimed to decrease post-harvest losses by 30 percent and vastly improve quality.

Meanwhile, cereals and grains’ export revenues increased by 44%, accounting for 20.8% of total agro-export revenues.

NAEB values the contribution of all stakeholders for this performance and anticipates further growth in the agricultural export business as the global economy continues to open up.

Commenting on the annual performance, NAEB’s Chief Executive Officer, Claude BIZIMANA said, “We are pleased that, in addition to other opportunities, the agro-export sector contributes significantly to job retention and creation.

“We will build on this year’s strong performance by looking for new and innovative ways to keep Rwanda’s agribusiness environment adaptable and competitive while drawing in the interest of international markets.”

Overall, the East African country targets to generate US$1 billion in annual agricultural exports by 2024.

Achieving that goal will require doubling down on exports of emerging crops such as cereals and horticulture, as well as meat, dairy and poultry products, while steadily growing traditional exports crops which are coffee, tea and pyrethrum, according to NAEB’s strategic plan 2019-2024, published in May 2019.

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