According to the Export Commodities Highlights published by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) in Rwanda, between July 2015 and July 2016, around US$7.4 million was generated from the export of raw hides and skins. By establishing the ban, Rwanda’s government aims to not only attract further investments to the country’s tanneries but also to foster the growth of the processed meat market.

Although exported in small quantities, the significant revenue earned from processed meat is leading Rwanda’s government to review its export model, which has so far mainly consisted of the export of live animals, especially to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“We are undertaking a study to understand why the export of live animals is preferred by our traders, and what it will take for the government to turn around this industry,” Francois Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, told local media. “We, however, know that the export of fresh meat requires strong logistic chains. Moreover, the live animals move for long distances once they cross into the DRC”, he added.

According to statistics from Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, the total value of meat exports in 2015 was US$9.3 million, up from U$7.7 million in 2014. In the first six months of 2016, exports of processed meat reached US$7.5 million.

The Government is said to be collaborating with the private sector to establish a foreign multiservice centre; a logistics facility for small and medium enterprises engaged in exports. Expected to be operational in 2017, the centre is to offer cold room facilities and refrigerated trucks for traders.

Source: The East African