Rwandan agro-processors call for improved access to finance
Agro-processors in Rwanda say they are suffering because they struggle to access finance.Agro-processors in Rwanda say they are suffering because they struggle to access finance.
Organisations raised their concerns at the 7th Kigali National Agriculture Expo, which recently brought together food processors, bankers, technology firms and researchers, the Rwanda Focus reports.
Farmers working in the food sector want banks to lend them more money and say a lack of funds is the biggest factor preventing the industry from growing.
Vienne Mbabazi, who runs Cooperative Nzinza - fruit processors in Gicumbi district, is one person who is struggling because of poor access to finance.
"These challenges have ensured we remain small scale operators even if we have been in the business for the last eight years," he said.
When he applied for a loan, a bank asked for at least ten percent of the money being spent, as well as other collateral as a pre-condition for the cash.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, agriculture is considered key for the growth of Rwanda. Although cultivated land currently covers around 46 per cent of the country, the ministry believes up to 560,000 more hectares could be used.