On September 24, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente visited Sina Gerard Enterprise Urwibutso in Rulindo district, the country’s leading agro- processing enterprise that has contributed to value addition for agricultural products, steering yet another economic boom in the sectors of agriculture and industry.
The agriculture and industry sectors grew by 5% and 21 percent in the second quarter of 2019 respectively, thanks to private Sector Players such as Sina Gerard.
The Prime Minister’s visit mainly focused on wine production from grapes at Enterprise Urwibutso, which is a new concept in the country and looked at to diversify agriculture production but also help the country cut down increasing trade deficit as a result of rising import receipts of which wines are part of.
Sina Gerard Enterprise Urwibutso is pioneering viticulture (grapes farming) in the country as well as wine production.
During the visit, the Prime Minister Ngirente was toured through the winery which currently produces wines consumed on local and international markets. He thus pledged government support towards wine production and grapes farming and added that government will always keep an open ear to private Sector players such as Sina Gerard’s request for support.
The Prime Minister, who launched agricultural season 2020A at national level in the same district expressed government’s support to ensure good yield and increased production.
“Agricultural livelihoods play a critical role in ensuring national food security and economic growth and it’s important to practice improved farming methods to increase crop yields, secure household food security and farmer’s livelihoods,” he said.
Increased crop yields will mean that processors like Sina Gerard who uses agricultural products will have enough raw materials to as well produce products demanded on the market.
Ngirente acclaimed Sina Gerard for his efforts to promote viticulture and wine production in the country, a hope that the country is in the right steps to boost its local production and drive a self reliant economy.
Ngirente was accompanied by Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry, Governor of Northern Province Mr. Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, Dr. Patrick Karangwa, Director General, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and Emmanuel Kayiranga,Mayor Rulindo district among others.
Sina Gerard, founder and managing director of Sina Gerard Enterprise Urwibutso, innovative farmer with model farms in the country thanked the Prime Minister and Government in particular for the support towards the enterprise.
“I thank the Prime Minister for his visit, it is an important gesture for such a government official at that level of leadership to take his time and visit us, I thank government for always being near us in our day to day activities as an enterprise,” he said.
Sina said that the Prime Minister was interested in knowing how Enterprise Urwibutso grows grapes; add value through wine production, adding, “I am also thankful that he picked interest in our wine production.”
The leading agro- processor also welcomed government’s efforts to support made in Rwanda through tax cuts and incentives mainly in wine production where he says has enabled producers to be able to produce products at competitive prices while compared to foreign products on the market.
Sina is optimistic that wine production and viticulture in general will help in agriculture, export diversification and import substitution which are key components in economic growth of the country.