Rwanda to inject US$1.8m in revamp of Kinazi Cassava Processing plant to boost production

RWANDA – The government of Rwanda is seeking to invest about US$1.8 million in revamping the struggling Kinazi Cassava Processing Plant to increase its production capacity.

Kinazi cassava processing plant, jointly owned by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) and Agaciro Development Fund, currently operates at just 35% of its production capacity, reports New Times Rwanda.

The funding will be provided by government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“The production capacity is still at 35 percent due to old machines that must be replaced. We need to replace them so that we increase production.

“Experts carried out an assessment and found that we need more than Rwf1.8 billion. The cost might increase due to the inflation on the market,” said Jerome Bizimana, the CEO of Kinazi Cassava Plant.

Once fashioned with modern and state-of-the-art processing machines, the unit will be able to actualize its full processing capacity set at 120 tonnes of cassava per day in comparison to the current 40 tonnes.

The factory, which is currently working with over 10 active farmers’ cooperatives besides individual farmers, receives cassava produce from Southern Province, Eastern Province and few parts of Western Province.

Its end product, the cassava flour is supplied both locally and abroad, with the export market taking up 65 percent of the output.

“By increasing production capacity, the export market is expected to experience a boom,” highlighted Jerome.

China is the leading importer of the commodity with an import bill of US$1.13 billion in 2020 followed by other Asia countries with US$120m and USA buying goods worth US$76m, according to Trend Economy.

Cassava flour is a highly demanded commodity across the globe as it is a raw material in manufacturing of processed food, beverage, animal feed and industrial products.

In addition, it is often used as a substitute for wheat flour, especially to make breads, cakes, pasta and dumplings.

Other than production of cassava flour, Kinazi plant turns the peels from the tubers into clean energy to operate the factory.

“Kinazi plant switched from diesel to renewable energy from cassava peels which is clean and helps reduce carbon emissions,” he said.

The amount of cassava peels which the factory uses equals between 15 and 20 percent of tonnes of the cassava tubers received from farmers.

More than 200,000 hectares are used for cassava growing in Rwanda, making it the second most grown crop after bananas in terms of cultivated area.

The country produces around three million tonnes of cassava as an average production. Scaling up new varieties could increase production to about eight million tonnes, per year, with improved varieties and appropriate use of fertilizers.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE

More News Articles

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.