New Fertiliser Plant in Rwanda: A Catalyst for Agricultural Growth

A Bugesera based fertiliser blending factory that Rwanda launched on Wednesday, December 20, envisages increasing crop yields by 40 per cent, according to its owners and the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI).

They indicated that the Rwanda Fertiliser Blending Plant could accomplish this by blending fertilisers tailored to the specific soil and crop nutrient requirements. It will be importing fertiliser raw materials, and blending them locally.

The plant is set up at the Bugesera Special Economic Zone located in Eastern Province and houses a blending unit with a production capacity of 120 tonnes per hour, equivalent to 100,000 tonnes annually, according to data from its owners.

This is higher than Rwanda’s current annual demand estimated at 85,000 tonnes of fertilisers, supplied through importation, data from MINAGRI shows.

Construction of the plant costs over $19.2 million (approx. Rwf24 billion), as per data from its owners.

It was built under Rwanda Fertiliser Company (RFC), a joint venture between Moroccan fertiliser company OCP Africa, Agaciro Development Fund, and Agro Processing Trust Corporation Ltd (APTC).

OCP Africa is a subsidiary of OCP Group, a global leader in plant nutrition, and the world’s largest producer of phosphate-based fertilisers, as per information from the firm.

On factory shareholding, OCP Africa owns 57.4 per cent of shares; Agaciro Development Fund, 32.6 per cent; while APTC has 10 per cent.

Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa and Chairman of RFC said, “Our vision illustrated in this state-of-the-art blending plant aims to achieve 40 per cent increase in crop yield through customised formula that optimises soil health and nutrient balance,” he said.

He expressed confidence that it will have a profound impact on the agricultural value chain not only in Rwanda but throughout the entire region.

ALSO READ: Fertiliser blending plant to begin operation in May 2023

The plant is anticipated to generate approximately 50 direct jobs, facilitate the transfer of expertise to enhance Rwanda’s skills in the fertiliser industry and contribute to a 25 per cent increase in farmers’ income, thereby fostering economic empowerment, as per information from RFC.

Address challenges around fertiliser access, food security

The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Ildephonse Musafiri, said that by blending fertilisers in Rwanda, it is expected that fertiliser prices will be low, which would result in many people buying and using them.

Meanwhile, he said, fertiliser application is still at a low level in Rwanda, estimating it at an average of 60 kilogrammes of fertilisers per hectare, which negatively affects farm productivity. Yet, he said, there are developed countries that apply about 140 kilogrammes per hectare.

On factors limiting fertiliser use in the country, he cited high costs, pointing out that though the government provides fertiliser subsidy, the farmer has to pay about 60 per cent of fertiliser expenses.

“Again, as it will be producing fertiliser suitable to the soil of a given area, we hope that farm yields will increase by 40 per cent compared to our current output. That has a major impact on the food we consume in the country, our exports, and people’s nutrition in general,” he said.

“If everyone’s farmland has registered a 40 per cent increase in productivity, we would eliminate hunger within two years,” he added.

For the CEO of Agaciro Development Fund, Tesi Rusagara, the facility will not only increase financial autonomy for farmers, but it will also boost the agro-processing sector through improved production.

“It will also increase the financial autonomy of the government as localised production will reduce the import bill, but also enhance our export base,” she said, pointing out that the facility’s production capacity exceeds the domestic fertiliser demand.

Godfrey Bagire, a farmer in Nyagatare District, said that fertiliser application was based on a generic formula, expressing optimism that the factory will help address delays in access to fertilisers.

“We are happy that the factory is launched in the country, which will enable us to access quality fertiliser close to us,” he said.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More