RWANDA – Kinazi Cassava Plant Limited, a cassava flour and starch processing plant in Rwanda, has unveiled its plans to increase its cassava processing capacity from 5500 tonnes to 28 000 tonnes this year, reports New Times Rwanda.

Emile Nsanzabaganwa, the Chief Executive Officer Kinazi, said that the increased local production of cassava has also motivated the expansion plan following the government intervention to provide local farmers with quality seed.

This has in turn seen an increase in output as it significantly brings down the cost of production.

“Three or four years ago, the company had to import cassava from neighbouring countries requiring logistics arrangement of over 1200 km to the processing unit.

This would drive up the operational costs. However, that has since changed as farmers are now receiving inputs from the Government,” he said.

With this steady supply the company is expecting to increase its production capacity to 30 tonnes per day to satisfy the local market and the ever-growing international demand putting the annual output at about 10,950 tonnes.

This comes after the company managed to secure U.S Food and Drug Administration Certificate and subsequently will now expand its exports into the US market.

With the certification, Kizani is expected to export between 500 tonnes and 1000 tonnes to the American market.

The demand for cassava flour in the country has gradually increased partly due to the recent developments in the food industry that include mixing the wheat flour with cassava flour at a ratio of 8:2.

Cassava flour is also gaining popularity following nutrition conscious population on gluten intolerance and recommendations from nutritionists on less consumption of wheat products.

This presents an unprecedented opportunity for the local company which has been receiving huge online orders from developed countries as well as African nations with Morocco showing the highest demand.

Meanwhile, reduction in operational costs has seen Kinazi announce a subsidy in its product from Rwf750 to Rwf400 per kilogramme in the next two weeks.

Kinazi Cassava Plant, as one of the largest cassava milling firm in Rwanda,  was established in 2016 as a US$10 million investment  and carries out cassava milling, processing and distributing of cassava flour and cassava starch.

The firm’s main markets are Rwanda, morocco, Australia, US and the European Union.