KIGALI, Rwanda, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rwanda is seeking investors to exploit market potential for canned beans, as regional demand soars. According to Rwanda Agriculture Board, 700,000 tons of beans are produced annually, grown on 350,000 hectares. Canned beans have a huge market locally and internationally. Rwanda has invested heavily in climbing beans, which can produce about three times more food on the same area of land than bush beans. Projections indicate canned beans could fetch around $85 million by 2017.
"We have a wide market that requires value addition on bean... this includes East Africa Commodities Exchange, Rwanda Grains and Cereals Corporation and the government itself..." said Tony Nsanganira, the Agriculture State Minister.
Dr. Jean Jacques Mbonigaba, Rwanda Agriculture Board Director General says the market needs 150 tons more for export. "We still need more quantity to allocate some to canning industry, and rest to the formal and informal markets," he told KT Press.
Alex Kanyankore, Rwanda Development Board CEO said the Bank has allocated RWF 10 billion to facilitate local farming. "This accounts to 20% of total loan package we intend to allocate into different projects this year," he said. U.S Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative's research shows Rwanda has highest per capita consumption of beans in the world.
"Africa has consumes the most beans world-wide. Rwanda's annual per capita consumption is over 60kg," said Nsanganira. Minister Nsanganira told the second African Union Private Sector and Agribusiness forum (Kigali, November 5-8) that Rwanda's agriculture sector has abundant business opportunities including: dairy, honey processing, horticulture and poultry. Agriculture contributes 35% of GDP and employs 85% of the population, attracting over $514 million private investment over the last 10 years.
Last year, Agriculture was allocated 10% of national budget (RWF 1.75 trillion). Rwanda's Finance Minister Ambassador Claver Gatete said, "We are looking at developing a wide irrigation scheme, creating market for Agriculture products and adding value to products destined for international market. This aims at improving livelihood."
Agriculture accounts for 30%-40% of Africa's GDP and almost 60% of its total export earnings, according to World Food Programme. Sisay Shimelis, CEO of NutriAfrica -- a company that builds the awareness and ability to better protect and manage health -- told KT Press: "It is absurd Africa has imported food worth over $300 million from outside the continent. The main challenge remains lack of access to finance by local farmers."
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SOURCE KT Press