According to the Rwanda Agricultural Sector Situational Analysis Report (IPAR, 2009), local food production was expected to meet 91% domestic consumption for the year 2012. It is estimated that two thirds of Rwandan households’ food production is consumed within the family. The Government encourages all smallholder households to retain one-third of their production for own consumption. Land is the most binding constraint to production, with 78.5% of the country’s total land surface being used for agriculture, indicating severe scarcity of this critical production factor. Rwanda therefore remains a food-deficit country, importing on average 130,000 mt of food per year. High population growth, averaging 2.9% per year, and modest income gains have fueled an increasing demand for food which has exceeded production gains.
However according to the Ministry of Agriculture MINAGRI statistics, production of food crops has increased dramatically over the years owing to good agricultural policies. Maize production has increased. However, the findings from the 2015 Comprehensive Food security and Vulnerably Assessment revealed a trade deficit in cereals between 2013 and 2014 where there was more cereals imported than exported.
Food crops are mainly imported from Uganda to meet demand not met by local production. Maize is the main food import. Wholesale prices of maize and beans are sustained by flow of import of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Key trading markets in Rwanda include the Nyabugogo Market, which is the main wholesale market for food crops. Each of the country’s 30 districts has main food markets, with the Kimironko and Nyarugenge markets being the other main markets in Kigali.
Main Food Suppliers
Maize, Beans and Sorghum are the most consumed food crops that can be found in bulk in Rwanda. In the year 2012, market surpluses of 227,500 mt of beans and 341, 250 mt Maize were recorded. Most of the maize meal locally produced is exported into DRC, with domestic demand standing at 80,000 mt per year. Production of small mills and main milling plant MINIMEX stands at 72,000 mt per year.
The maize and beans value chain are comprised of several stages and actors. The main actors in the maize and beans value chains are farmers, traders (distributors, wholesalers and retailers), millers and consumers.
The private sector commodity trade is dominated by a few relatively large local buyers and agro processors.. The major three importers of cereals were Bakhresa Grain Milling (Rwanda) Limited; Pembe flour mills (Rwanda); SARL, which is a processor; and MINAGRIm which focuses on whole grains and rebuilding the national strategic grain reserve.
Through the Clinton Health Access Initiative, there are plans to set up a Corn Soya Blend manufacturing plant. Production is expected to commence in September 2016. Currently, Corn Soya Blend is mostly imported from South Africa and Europe. A local company, SOSOMA Industries Limited, supplies blended food to the government on a small scale.
Sugar Production barely meets local demand. Kabuye Sugar Works is Rwanda’s sole sugar maker, producing about 30 per cent of the market supply. The factory currently produces 10,000 mt of sugar annually. (Source: Institute of Policy Analysis and Research - Rwanda)
Generic country information can be located from sources which are regularly maintained and reflect current facts and figures. For a general overview of country data related to the service and supply sectors, please consult the following links:
For contact information on suppliers in Rwanda, please see the following link: 4.9 Rwanda Supplier Contact List
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