The ministry of agriculture and animal resources (Minagri) has announced plans of opening channels for the private sector to take up the responsibility of importing fertilizers to the country.
According to the Permanent Secretary of Minagri, Ernest Ruzindaza, the new plan is to completely handover the program to private business enterprises and dealers in the fertilizers business.
Ruzindaza said that preparations have been done and the private sector should form an association that will be responsible for taking up the job that was formerly done by the ministry, in which they will be charged with importing fertilizers and selling out to wholesalers, retailers and individual farmers countrywide.
He noted that the use of fertilizers has improved in Rwanda due to the launch of the agricultural modernization programs and Crop intensive program in 2007and fertilizers used by farmers has grown from 6tonnes to 30tonnes annually.
During a consultative meeting in December 2012, with key partners such as bankers, distributors and farmers representative, it was recommended that the private sector takes full responsibility of the exercise so as to increase the access and distribution of fertilizers.
Jean Bosco Safari, the coordinator of the fertilizer project said “the ministry has made the necessary preparations and trainings for the distributors and we would like to see banks making it easy for the private sector to access loans so that the process goes well”
The meeting also recommended that banking institutions should support the initiative by providing loans to farmers’ cooperatives and companies that will take up the responsibility of importing and distributing the fertilizers.
One of the fertilizer distributors, Emmanuel Karegeya said that the process of forming cooperatives and unions is underway and the was need to have the government support in the procedures of importing the fertilizers.