RWANDA – Rwanda has entered into a lucrative deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based retail firm, MAF Carrefour to supply the large hypermarket with fresh produce including fruits and vegetables over the next one year.

According to reports by New Times Rwanda, the East African nation landed the deal through the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) who will be exporting the products under the country’s Rwandafresh Brand.

“We’ve just started the New Year with an opportunity for our fresh agriexport producers & exporters. We secured a one-year deal with Carrefour hypermarket.”

Rwandafresh Brand

The maiden order was made earlier in the week comprising of 1,500 kilogrammes of avocadoes and 100 kilogrammes of passion fruits.

These were samples to gauge the appreciation levels of the retail store customers, with NAEB noting that volumes are likely to increase later incorporating more produces such as apple, banana and pineapple and the contract is renewable.

“We’ve just started the New Year with an opportunity for our fresh agriexport producers & exporters. We secured a one-year deal with Carrefour hypermarket.

“This partnership will be a key enabler in supporting Rwanda’s fresh producers, exporters and the country’s economy at large,” indicated Rwandafresh Brand on a twitter post.

NAEB Communication officer, Pie Ntwari has further indicated that the exports are expected to be made weekly, pointing out that they will depend on the purchase order from Carrefour based on its demands and sales statistics.

On the implications of the deal, Ntwari said that the country has been exporting horticultural products to UAE, Asia and Europe among other parts of the world, “but we had no market to which we were directly connected to.”

Carrefour operating in large markets not only in UAE but the Gulf Corporation Council I.e. Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Oman will not only offer ready market for Rwanda’s produce but has availed a wide opportunity for the country to increase its production and export volumes, in turn swell its earnings.

Rwanda exported 31,788 tonnes of horticulture commodities which generated US$28.7 million (about Rwf27 billion) during the fiscal year 2019/20, indicate figures from NAEB.

This represents an increase of 5 per cent compared to US$27.1 million generated from over 37,343 tonnes of horticulture exports in 2018/19.

Rwanda targets US$130 million from horticulture exports by 2024.

Meanwhile, Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has extended the deadline for food products registration and premise licensing to early 2021.

According to the authority, by January 31 2021, all premises or factories must have submitted their applications to the regulator for premise licensing; and by February 28 the same year, all manufacturers, producers or importers must have submitted their applications for product registration.

In the communique, the FDA issued a warning that by March 31, any premise without license and any food product not registered with Rwanda FDA shall be considered illegal and not allowed to “operate or be on Rwandan market.”

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