The government in Rwanda has signed a multimillion dollar deal with a Nigerian investor to revamp and develop the country’s potato industry and help make this country a key producer and exporter of potato products.
Under the deal signed last week between Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the ministries of Agriculture and Animal Resources, and Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs and BlackPace Africa Group, the firm will also set up two potato processing plants and boost production activities.
The five-year project worth USD120m (Rwf102bn) involves building two potato factories; one in the Kigali Special Economic Zone for frozen French fries, and another in Nyabihu District to produce potato products for the export market, according to Joseph Mugarulire, the director general of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA). NIRDA is supporting the project on research and trade issues.
The firm targets production capacity of 10 million tons of potato by the fifth year of the project, officials said.
When it starts operations, it will process 80,000 to 100,000 tons of potatoes making frozen French fries, and potato flakes and crisps, targeting export markets in Africa and the Middle East, according to Olusegun Paul Andrew, the chairman of BlackPace Africa Group.
The project is expected to kick off in two months.
The Express News