Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Rwanda on the Brink of Agricultural Triumph: Surpassing the $1 Billion Export Milestone

Rwanda stands poised to achieve a groundbreaking agricultural export target of $1 billion in the fiscal year 2023/2024. The CEO of the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Claude Bizimana, expressed unwavering confidence in this ambitious goal, citing the stellar performance of the previous financial year.

A Phenomenal Growth Trajectory

According to the June 2023 statistics report by NAEB, Rwanda witnessed a phenomenal surge in agricultural export revenues, reaching over $857 million in the fiscal year 2022-2023. This marks an impressive 33.74% increase from the previous year, solidifying Rwanda’s position as a rising star in the global agricultural market.

The journey towards the $1 billion milestone began with a doubling of agricultural exports from $225 million in 2013-2014 to $516 million in 2017-2018, aligning seamlessly with NAEB’s visionary 2019-2024 strategic plan.

Strategies Paving the Way to Success

Claude Bizimana, in a reflection on the remarkable 2022/2023 performance, outlined strategic initiatives propelling Rwanda towards the coveted $1 billion target. These include relentless efforts in exploring and developing new markets, fortifying existing ones through trade exhibitions, agreements, and partnerships.

Crucially, investments in training farmers for superior agricultural practices, embracing modern techniques, and securing third-party certifications underscore Rwanda’s commitment to enhancing productivity and ensuring top-notch quality for export.

Transportation and logistics have not been overlooked, with substantial support for stakeholders in terms of transportation, storage facilities, and cold chain logistics. These measures are anticipated to not only preserve the quality of perishable goods but also minimize post-harvest losses, ensuring that Rwandan products reach international markets in impeccable condition.

Diversification and Value Addition: The Winning Formula

Bizimana emphasized the importance of diversification and value addition as pivotal strategies to reach the $1 billion agricultural export target. Initiatives such as exploring e-market shares with global giants like Carrefour and adhering to international quality standards are poised to open new avenues and propel Rwanda into the global agricultural spotlight.

Key Drivers of the 2022/2023 Revenue Performance

1. Coffee Exports Reach New Heights

In the financial year 2022/2023, Rwanda’s coffee exports exceeded expectations, surpassing 20,000 tonnes and bringing in a staggering $116 million. This represents a remarkable 53% increase in coffee revenues, driven by high global and domestic prices, setting a new record of $5.7 per kilo.

2. Horticulture Exports Flourish

The horticulture sector played a pivotal role in Rwanda’s export success. Vegetable exports surged to over 51,689 tonnes, generating $34.5 million, a remarkable 61% increase from the previous year. Fruits followed suit, with 21,953 tonnes contributing $19 million, a 30% increase.

3. Tea Exports on the Rise

Tea export sales soared to 39,000 tonnes, generating $107.7 million in the fiscal year 2022-2023. This 4.12% increase is attributed to enhanced productivity in newly established tea plantations, showcasing the nation’s commitment to excellence in the agricultural sector.

In conclusion, Rwanda’s journey to the $1 billion agricultural export milestone is a testament to visionary planning, strategic initiatives, and the resilience of its agricultural sector. With each passing year, Rwanda emerges as a global agricultural powerhouse, bringing forth economic prosperity and sustainability for the nation and its people.