Local agribusiness entrepreneurs keen on Green Revolution funding

African entrepreneurs in agribusiness have a chance to secure funding to scale up their business during the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) due in Kigali next month. The forum, slated for September 5-8, in Kigali, will attract entrepreneurs working along the agriculture value chain and they will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas and stand a chance of securing funding of $100,000-$5 million.

For the first time, the Forum will host a ‘Dealroom’ – an event connecting investors with business owners and projects across the agriculture value chain seeking investments. Rwandan agribusiness entrepreneurs are eager to compete for the funding.

Sylvestre Barajiginyw, the general-manager of Tuzamurane cooperative, is excited about the opportunity to compete for the funding to recapitalise the cooperative’s pineapple business. The cooperative brings together some 105 pineapple growers from Gahara Sector in Kirehe District, Eastern province.

“At the moment, we have two driers which make 100 kilogrammes of dried pineapple from two tonnes of fresh pineapple produce per day. Yet, we want to get at least four driers for us to be able to process four tonnes of pineapple into 200 kilogrammes of dried pineapple for export,” he said. The group is engaged in organic farming on 97 hectares and exports their products to France.

The chairman of Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness (RYAF), Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, said that their members are preparing projects to pitch at the forum, pointing out that quite often the youth have good ideas which they are unable to implement for lack capital.

“Though the youth have potential to increase farm productivity, they have been facing the challenge of lack of finance. We hope we will have some projects from our members selected for funding,” he said. AGRF said in a statement that Africa’s future will depend on committed and innovative leadership that is prepared for regular and rigorous measures to drive the growth required for agricultural transformation. The summit will run under the theme, “Lead. Measure. Grow: Enabling new pathways to turn smallholders into future agribusinesses.”

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