President Paul Kagame has received Sir Ian Wood, founder of ‘The Wood Foundation’ which has invested in the tea sector in Rwanda who has promised to anchor more investments in the tea sector by five times in the next five years.
President Kagame has received the investor in Village Urugwiro.
In 2007, Sir Ian Wood and his family founded The Wood Foundation, an organization which concentrates on creating projects enhancing citizens’ progress through promoting trade, increasing citizens’ capacity and providing support as well.
After holding talks with president Kagame,Sir Ian Wood has told the media that the visit is meant to boost investments and trade in Rwanda.
“Based on acquired experience of collaboration with tea farmers, we expect to reach 1000 Shagasha farmers. There is a new project of Kibeho-Munini where we will build a large tea factory and work with 5000 farmers. This will greatly boost the economic welfare in the area,” he said.
Apart from investing in tea factories, Wood Foundation builds capacities of tea farmers to produce quality tea with good repute at the international market.
The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Ressources, Dr.Gerardine Mukeshimana has lauded the contribution of Wood Foundation in capacity building which is reflected in Shagasha and Mulindi tea factories selling 15% of Rwanda’s tea.
“ The trainings offered by Wood Foundation to tea farmers and working with them closely brings an added value. Shagasha and Mulindi tea factories have had a good performance over the past two years and we expect much progress projected in the future,” she said.
This year, Rwanda signed agreements with Unilever Tea Rwanda Limited to maximize benefits from tea plantation in Munini and Kibeho from Nyaruguru district on 4000 hectares.
Minister Mukeshimana explained that Wood Foundation will work with Unilever in planting tea and training farmers.
The Wood Foundation works with tea farmers in Rwanda and Tanzania where it supports over 45 000 farmers of whom 17,000 are Rwandans. It has 55% of shares in Mulindi tea factory and 60% in Shagasha.
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