Rwanda aims to cut fertilizer imports burden
The first-of-its kind in Rwanda, High-tech blending plant has been inaugurated on December 20 in Bugesera district to bridge gaps in fertilizer supply and address concerns of unaffordable price of fertilizer that used to consequently lead to decline of Agricultural production, hence leaving farmers in inevitable losses.
Named the Rwanda Fertilizer Company (RFC), the development is collaborative venture between OCP Africa – subsidiary of OCP Group, a global leader in plant nutrition and the world’s largest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers.The plant will relieve the government from the high cost of importing fertilizer and the additional subsidies that government put on fertilizer to make it affordable to farmers.
Rwandan ministerial delegation paid a visit to the state-of-the-art blending plant to witness its progress and potentials towards bolstering Agriculture in Rwanda.
The significant visit represented a pivotal step in the production of high-quality fertilizers, commenced since August 2023, underscoring the plant’s commitment to enhancing food security and fostering agricultural development, not only in Rwanda but also across East Africa Region.
Encompassing over 8 hectares at the industrial park of Bugesera, this facility houses a cutting-edge blending unit covering 4 hectares with a production capacity of 120 tons per hour, equivalent to 100,000 tons annually.
It also includes a 25,000-ton storage unit, a modern laboratory equipped with the latest analysis technologies for product quality control and soil analysis and characterization, and a future 4-hectare pilot farm for conducting agronomic trials and training farmers.
With an annual production capacity of 100,000 tons, the blending plant aspires to achieve a 40% increase in crop yield through customized formulas optimizing soil health and nutrient balance.
The plant is anticipated to generate approximately 50 direct jobs, facilitate the transfer of expertise to enhance Rwanda’s skills in the fertilizer industry, and contribute to a 25% increase in farmers’ income, thereby fostering economic empowerment.
According to farmers who talked to Rwanda Sun, the plant is expected to bridge gaps in supply of fertilizers and to lower the prices that were among the reasons behind the losses that affected farmers over the time.
“It will be very helpful for us because It will cut long journeys to access it given that It is being manufactured in our sector. There are sort of things to benefit from this plant including the low cost getting fertilizer”. Said Jean Nepomuscene Kayiranga, a resident of Ramiro sector.
His colleague similarly added that it happened that fertilizers could delay to be distributed to farmers but following the inaugural of the plant, the concerns are perfectly addressed.
Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and livestock, Dr Ildephonse Musafiri who was among the visitors agreed that the current constraint of expensive price of fertilizer and shortage will be solved by this blending plant.
He informed that Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) is conducting the soil analysis across the country to determine the needed nutrients to given type of soil.
” A farmer will present the soil analysis findings of his farm to the distributors so that to be given fertilizer with nutrients suitable to his soil” said the Minister.
According to him, currently only 60kg of fertilizer are surfaced on one hectare, while in developed countries one hectare can receive 140kg of fertilizer.
During this momentous occasion, Dr. Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa & Chairman of FC, remarked, “This state-of-the-art facility is not only intended for the production of fertilizers but also to have a profound impact on the agricultural value chain of Rwanda and the region. OCP Africa is committed to contributing to the transformation of the food system in the East region, and Rwanda represents a strategic hub for our group.”
The Bugesera blending unit, spanning more than an industrial facility, is positioned as a center of excellence and service delivery available to FC’s partners to enhance soil vields for achieving food security.
It serves as a platform for sharing experiences, knowledge, and know-how between the OCP Group, RFC, and stakeholders in the Rwandan agricultural sector.
Mr. Anass Khanchoufi, MD RFC, emphasized that the efficient use of customized fertilizers is one of the best ways to increase farmers’ productivity.
The collaboration encompasses the entire agricultural value chain, from tailored fertilizer solutions to local soils and crops, to improving fertilizer availability at competitive prices in the local market, and implementing support measures for Rwandan farmers, contributing to the development of the logistics chain and strengthening the local distribution network.
In 2023, Rwanda Fertilizer Company has marked an extraordinary year of dedication to Rwandan farmers through impactful projects such as the OCP SCHOOL lab, demonstration plots, and widespread donation distributions. As a fitting conclusion to this exceptional year, FC has proudly initiated local production for our ‘Made in Rwanda’ products since August 2023, slated to debut in the agricultural season of 2024, symbolizing our unwavering commitment to advancing the agricultural landscape and fostering sustainable growth within Rwanda.
About OCP Africa
A subsidiary of OCP Group – subsidiary of OCP Group, a global leader in plant nutrition and the world’s largest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers with more than 100 years of experience – OCP AFRICA was created to contribute to the sustainable development of African agriculture.
OP Africa develops fertilizer solutions customized to local conditions and crop needs, and also works with partners in many different African governments, nonprofits and private enterprises to connect farmers to the agricultural services, knowledge, and resources they need in order to prosper.
Based in Morocco, with a presence in 35 countries, as well as 12 subsidiaries and employees representing 17 nationalities, OP AFRICA is proud to be a multicultural African company working hand-in-hand with farmers and partners across the continent.
Rwanda Fertilizer Company Ltd (RFC) is a JV between OCP AFRICA, AGACIRO Fund and APTC that was incorporated in 2019 and based in Kigali. RFC is a leading provider of agricultural solutions dedicated to fostering sustainable and productive farming practices in Rwanda. Established with a commitment to contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector, RFC has become a trusted partner for farmers across the nation.
THE RWANDA SUN