Ruhango gets cassava processing plant
A US$ 10 million new cassava processing plant set up by Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) in Kinazi sector, Ruhango district will have it first product on market late next month.
Jack Kayonga, the BRD chief executive officer, who inspected Kinazi Cassava Processing Plant, last week said that the factory will have an installed capacity of 20 tons of flour per day. In order to achieve full capacity, the factory will need a daily supply of 60 tons of raw the material, cassava.
The facility uses 15 cubic meters of water per hour and operates 10 hours a day.
Though run by BRD, the bank plans to allow farmers acquire shares and ultimately enable cassava growers to own and manage it themselves.
For the local authorities, the plant comes as an opportunity that will benefit the local population by enabling them add value to their produce.
“This facility will really make our people not only consume, but also exporters of good quality flour,” said Francois Xavier Mbabazi, the mayor of Ruhango.
The same joy was expressed by farmers who have already been benefiting from the bank support.
“We used to [process] our cassava in holes containing unsafe water and our flour was not liked on the market since it was somehow black,” said Helena Mukamugema, a farmer. “Now we hope to offer an excellent product.”
At the farm, the price of cassava will be Frw 40 while at the factory it will be Frw 50 per kilo.
BRD says there is enough cassava in the area to enable the factory produce at full capacity. “We have enough raw materials for sure,” said Kayonga. He said that the bank is working with farmers in all districts in that region such as Ruhango, Muhanga, Gisagara and Kamonyi—the leading cassava producing districts to ensure adequate supply. Ruhango alone expects to grow over 10,000 ha of cassava this year.
The bank has also given farmers loans to grow cassava in order to ensure regular supply of quality cassava, said Philibert Mbanje, another official of BRD. He added that more than 20 farmers have already got the loans and the bank plans to give more farmers loans to grow the crop.
Formation and strengthening of cassava producer cooperatives will also be given a special attention in order to ensure enough raw materials and provide the local farmers with ability to maximize profits from the new facility.
As the plant is set up in a remote area new Akanyaru river – over 30 km from Ruhango town, road construction and rehabilitation is another priority that is to be undertaken in the next few months so as to facilitate transport.
Apart from flour production, the remaining waste will be treated and turned into fertilizers and animal feeds, said Robert Runazi, general manager of the plant.