RWANDA – Rwanda has earned more than USD 857 million (RWF 1 trillion) in annual agriculture export revenue for the fiscal year 2022-2023 nearing its USD1 billion (RWF 1.2 trillion) target agricultural exports in the 2023/2024 MY.

According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) this revenue represents an increase of 33.74 per cent from USD 640.9 million in 2021-2022 with the horticulture commodity sector revenues increasing by 84.4%.

In the report, 2022-2023 vegetable exports from Rwanda amounted to more than 51,689 tons, fetching over USD 34.5 million.

“This revenue was 61 per cent higher than the USD21.3 million the country got from over 25,221 tonnes of vegetables that were exported in the previous year, as per the report,” highlights the report.

The 2022-2023 export of fruits, on the other hand, totaled 21,953 tons and raked in USD 19 million, representing a 30 per cent increase compared to 14.6 million brought in by the sale of 16,207 tons in 2021/2022.

The report further outlines that Rwanda’s agricultural export growth is on pace growing rapidly in the past years, doubling from USD 225 million in 2013-2014 to USD 516 million in 2017-2018.

‘The attained performance means that the sector is contributing significantly to the set national targets, and trade balance, and gross domestic product (GDP),” Bizimana said speaking about the performance in 2022/2023.

“Despite the unpredicted circumstances that might be beyond control or anticipated scenario, and price volatility, among others we remain positive to reach USD1 bn agricultural export revenues by FY 2023/24.”

Several ongoing initiatives including but not limited to continuing exploring new markets and engaging more buyers, ongoing trade protocols signing, and other trade engagements (like AfCFTA), and new routing opportunities for RwandAir, and sea maritime approach to uplift more volume of fresh (horticultural) produces have been put in place to ensure this goal is attained and possibly exceeded.

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

Bizimana further cited exploring and developing new markets while strengthening existing ones through trade exhibitions, agreements, and partnerships could enable the country to realize the revenue target.

They also include investing in training for farmers for good agricultural practices and adopting modern techniques, and third-party certifications support, which is anticipated to enhance productivity and overall output for export.

A perfect illustration can be drawn from the case where Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and Rwanda Inspectorate, Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA) sent six potato experts on diagnostics skills training in Kenya.

Others are continuing activities of supporting stakeholders with transportation, storage facilities, and cold chain logistics anticipated to help preserve the quality of perishable goods and reduce post-harvest losses, ensuring that products reach markets in good condition.

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