HoReCo-Gashora: SMALL FARMERS STARTED GROWING BIRD EYE CHILI TO PROMOTE ITS EXPORT TO EUROPEAN MARKETS.
The Rwandan agricultural sector is of vast importance to the country’s economy, with a market that is interested in diversifying the crop production. Among the crops that provide an alternative to traditional cash crop exports is chili, which has the European Union as the primary export market.
Gashora irrigation scheme is one of the schemes managed by HoReCo and small farmers started introducing to grow bird eye chili added to other current crops like french beans as they actually have potential markets.
There are a number of market opportunities for improving chili production among smallholder farmers and farmer groups. These opportunities cover the issues of irrigation, post-harvest handling and access to market information.
There are opportunities for linking and upgrading along the Rwandan chili supply chain, and in for businesses to enter into partnerships with other customer/sourcing segments to promote the chili export to European markets in line with international social and environmental standards.
HoReCo agronomists who coach farmers on how to grow bird eye chili say that the most relevant opportunities for a success are;
:• Improved access to irrigation to increase and secure production throughout the year
.• Handling and storing of crops post-harvest to reduce losses and improve bargain power.
• Improved access to market information to secure optimal prices and trading partners.
In particular, the African variety of Bird’s Eye Chili (Capsicum frutescent) is being increasingly promoted in Rwanda and that variety is one of the most pungent varieties of chili in the world and produced in mainly in Malawi but also in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana , Uganda and currently in Rwanda as new export crop.