A Japanese firm will begin processing macadamia nut for export with capacity to process 1000 Metric Tons annually.
On March 18, 2019, Agriculture Minister, Gerardine Mukeshimana, accompanied by the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, H.E Takayuki Miyashita, officiated the inauguration of Rwanda nuts Macadamia Processing Factory that is based in Rusoro Sector, Gasabo District in the outskirts of Kigali City.
Ambassador Takayuki said that Rwanda Macadamia nuts are ‘highly appreciated in Japan and can now be ordered through Amazon.’
Speaking at the inauguration event, Minister Mukeshimana commended the Japanese investors for investing in Rwanda’s agro processing sector, which, she noted, is line with the government agenda to promote made in Rwanda products.
“This project is indeed part of the Government plan to promote made in Rwanda and value addition in agriculture sector which is part of our strategic plans,” the Minister added.
“Agri processing is one of the priority areas under the Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation 2018-2024 where we plan to promote agro processing and market diversification by strengthening market-oriented production and processing of diversified agricultural commodities which include macadamia.”
Macadamia was introduced in Rwanda in 2004. The crop has been adopted by farmers from all corners of the country.
Over the last three years, exports of macadamia reached 366 MT fetching close to $2 million.
There was an increase from 45MT in 2015-16 to 234MT in 2017-18, much of these exports were processed nuts.
This was possible with the participation of the private sector.
Minister Mukeshimana reiterated the government’s commitment to facilitate private investment into agriculture and value addition.
This supports the government efforts to reduce what is exported as raw material and promote more value addition in the country to benefit from premium prices offered on international markets on finished products.
“Being a small country and landlocked, Rwanda will not compete on the international markets with more volumes but with high quality and value added products,” she said.
Rwanda considers macadamia as one of the high value crops easy to grow and very productive in terms of yields.
The government has rolled out different initiatives to develop macadamia industry as the crop has huge potential to boost the country’s export base.
“Our plans to develop macadamia include investing in production of clean planting material in partnership with private sector, expansion of the area under production and promotion of value addition locally,” the Minister explained. “Our target is to reach at least 14,000MT of macadamia Nuts in shell by 2024.”