RWANDA – Kayonza District has unveiled plans to become a logistics hub to connect transportation networks and offer various logistics services in Rwanda’s fresh produce sector.

The district’s strategic location and proximity to major transportation routes from the Rusumo and Kagitumba borders to the capital, Kigali, makes it an ideal location for a logistics hub.

“Logistics services such as warehousing, distribution, and transportation management will help businesses benefit from the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, storage, and delivery,” explained Bill Kayonga, PSF representative to Fresh Plaza.

“Kayonza District can be the midpoint for logistics before goods continue to Kigali or other areas. It’s all about establishing the right infrastructure and logistics management to support that.”

Being the second largest district in the country with the most planted fruit trees in the country on over 2,000 hectares, investors are also called upon to establish small and medium factories to process and manage the post-harvest losses that may result from the abundance of fruit yields.

Bureaucratic hurdles, poor infrastructure, mainly in some rural areas, and limited access to finance are some of the challenges that need to be addressed to fully realize the district’s vision towards achieving the National Strategic Transformation pillars, according to entrepreneurs.

Fruit farming remains an untapped business potential in Rwanda according to a recent survey by The New Times.

Rwanda’s demand for fruits outpaces the supply, forcing the country to rely on imports especially for mangos, apples, and oranges, outlines the report.

Despite the shortage on the local market, Rwanda exported 8,667 tons of fruits between July 2019 and June 2020, generating over USD 7.5 million, according to figures from the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

However, the report reveals that more farmers are now joining the industry following their knowledge of a steady demand for fruits in the country.

“We are expanding our fruit farms due to the high demand,” said Justin Uwitonze, a passion fruit farmer in Nyakariro Sector, Rwamagana District.

Moreover, Rwanda’s tropical climate provides favorable conditions for the growth of a variety of fruits and vegetables, including pineapples, mangoes, avocados, tomatoes, and peppers.

According to Statista Market Forecast, the revenue in the fresh vegetables market in Rwanda is expected to grow annually by 12.16% from 2023 to 2028, reaching USD366.00m in 2023. 

The volume of fresh vegetables is expected to amount to 331.00m kg by 2028, with an expected volume growth of 9.8% in 2024.

Given this data, the potential to develop a vibrant horticulture industry in Rwanda is undoubtedly on the move.

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