The demand for rice in Rwanda is estimated at 145,000 tonnes per 12 months, whereas nationwide provide accounts for about 40 per cent, making a 60 per cent deficit that’s met via imports, in line with information from the Ministry of Commerce and Trade (MINICOM).
In 2020, Rwanda imported greater than 120,270 tonnes of rice on which it spent over $61.5 million (about Rwf60 billion). Within the earlier 12 months (2019), $55.1 million had been spent on importing 112,290 tonnes of rice.
That is regardless of a dedication made in 2016 to extend manufacturing to satisfy the nation’s demand for rice by 2018, and cease importing and thereby serving to cut back the nation’s commerce deficit.
In 2020, a lot of the rice was imported from Tanzania, which accounted for 63,311 tonnes value $38.2 million (about Rwf38 billion), or greater than half Rwanda’s rice import invoice.
Pakistan was Rwanda’s second main rice import companion in 2020 as Rwanda purchased 47,355 tonnes of rice from the Asian nation at a price of over $18.eight million (about Rwf18 billion).
Total, the statistics from MINICOM point out that on common, a kilogramme of imported rice was imported at about Rwf500, however offered at the next worth on the native market provided that the merchants wish to make a revenue.
For the rice produced in Rwanda to have the ability to compete with the imported commodity on the native market, it ought to have higher high quality, and be far lower-priced.
Nevertheless, domestically produced rice is usually thought-about of decrease high quality, and is offered at nearly the identical worth as some imported manufacturers.
This leaves customers with no choice however go for the imported varieties.
Certainly, the most typical selection in Rwanda is the short-grain selection, domestically referred to as Kigori and attracts low demand from milling companies and customers as a result of it lacks high quality.
Charles Bucagu, Deputy Director Basic in command of Agriculture Analysis and Expertise Switch at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) mentioned that there are a number of dimensions related to this problem, citing restricted manufacturing space, excessive value of manufacturing as in comparison with neighbouring international locations like Tanzania, and the demand which continues to be increased than native provide.
What are the implications?
This example makes the native rice market dominated by imports that buyers want, particularly for high quality, and it hinders the expansion of the native rice business.
Giving an instance of rice, François Nsengiyumva, Chairperson of Rwanda Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock at Personal Sector Federation mentioned that Rwanda might face a state of affairs the place it might be importing a lot of the meals it wants, if no efforts are put in making the native meals business extra productive and aggressive.
He mentioned that the 60 per cent deficit in rice manufacturing vis-a-vis the demand may be very indicting.
He mentioned that there’s a want for strategic planning to match the efforts in rice manufacturing with the nation’s demand, and advance the native rice business.
Jérôme Mbonirema, coordinator of UCORIBU, a union of rice farmers’ co-operatives working within the districts of Gisagara, Huye and Nyanza, instructed The New Occasions that one of many purpose for lack of competitiveness of the native rice sector is that there are elements of Rwanda which aren’t appropriate for rising long-grain rice varieties – these of higher high quality.
“Other than rising rice varieties that aren’t aggressive available on the market, we even have an issue of excessive manufacturing value,” he mentioned citing lack of agriculture mechanisation.
A few of the marshlands that will be appropriate for rice cultivation should not developed, which makes them unutilised.
The typical paddy rice (unprocessed rice) yield per hectare is 3.9 tonnes, in line with the Upgraded Seasonal Agricultural Survey (SAS) 2020 annual report produced by Nationwide Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
“If marshlands are developed, and the fitting fertilisers utilized alongside different good farming practices, rice manufacturing can common seven tonnes per hectare,” Mbonirema mentioned.
In the meantime, RAB’s Bucagu, mentioned that “efforts are being made to extend productiveness in marshlands, and use of applicable fertilisers and correct administration (water, illness management, use of extremely performing verities from analysis), additionally increasing manufacturing space.”
Bucagu mentioned rice manufacturing space in Rwanda is about 15,000 hectares.
The Director of Home Commerce at MINICOM, Cassien Karangwa mentioned that to scale back Rwanda’s rice imports, there’s a want to extend manufacturing in amount and high quality.
Concerning fixing the market difficulty for domestically produced rice, he mentioned, “the ministry is working in collaboration with different involved authorities establishments to discover a sustainable native market and this will likely be finished in a short while.”