The facility build in the Special Economic Zone in Masoro sits on 600 square meters with the capacity to store between 25 to 30 tons of fresh produce.
Completed at nearly US$1 million, the packhouse was recently inaugurated officially by the Netherland’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Matthijs Wolters.
Speaking at the ceremony; Faustin Mbundu, the Chairman of Garden Fresh, Ltd said that the facility comes in handy to give relief to horticulture exporters.
“The agricultural produce is increasing. The country has had only one facility of its kind managed by the National Agricultural Export Development Board [NAEB] despite efforts to expand export markets in collaboration with partners. To continue ensuring uncompromised quality of exports, we need similar facilities meeting international standards,” he said.
The packhouse was built on the funding of the Embassy of the Netherlands to Rwanda through HortInvest project.
It is expected to boost exports as Garden Fresh will share the facility with other exporters.
GB Banjara, the HortInvest project manager said that they do not only allocate funding to such projects but also work with farmers to equip them with best farming practices to increase yields and meet international standards.
He highlighted that agricultural exports particularly delivered to markets in Europe need special packaging and handling to ensure consumers receive quality products.
Sylvie Nirere, the IDH country manager said that having such a packhouse helps to meet consumers’ satisfaction.
IDH is a non-governmental organization which focuses on empowering people within corporations, the global financial sector and governments that have the most influence over value chains.
Agriculture is among major sources of revenues where related exports generated over Rwf640 billion in the fiscal year 2021/2022 up from US$444,862,192 of the previous year.
This saw Rwanda recording a 45 percent increase in revenues from agricultural exports year owing to economic recovery measures.
Fruits and vegetables accounted for 6.7% of total agricultural export revenues 2020/2021. In 2021/2022, revenues from exported vegetables and fruits increased by 63% and 87% respectively.