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Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Finnish firms to invest in agric mechanisation, skills transfer

Finnish manufacturing firms have expressed interest to invest in Rwanda’s agriculture sector. The investors explored investment opportunities and strategies to forge business ties with local investors last week. While receiving the investors at her office in Kigali, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, pledged government support, adding that there are investment opportunities in agro-processing, packaging, fruit canning, floriculture and coffee processing, among others. The minister said government is seeking more investors in agriculture to help accelerate the sector’s growth, stimulate Rwanda’s economic transformation, and enhance and diversify agro-exports. Mukeshimana said the ministry is promoting modern farming methods, including new technologies, to help improve production and quality along the agricultural value chain. The government targets 8.5 per cent annual growth rate in the agriculture sector by 2018. The sector is currently expanding at 7 per cent, and contributes about 33 per cent to the national economy annually. The agriculture sector employs over 72 per cent of the Rwandan population. According to Markku Virtanem, the head of the delegation, for Rwanda to achieve its growth targets in the agriculture sector will require strong public-private partnerships and joint ventures between foreign and local investors. Virtanem, who is also the in-charge of business development for Africa at General Finland, said the Finnish investors will provide equipment and latest technologies, as well as offer technical support to boost agriculture production and value addition.

Source: New Times