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Rwandan farmers take advantage of Chinese opportunities

By Honoré Banda
Posted on Friday, 26 February 2021 13:17

Rwanda President Paul Kagame, left, listens while Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba group, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Diego Twahirwa, a chilli farmer in Rwanda, has been exporting his produce to China since 2019. Although he exports to some European capitals as well, he views China as the steadiest market and he has a growing clientele there.

“The good relationship between China and Rwanda has enabled farmers like me to realise our dreams. The Chinese market is quite unique when compared to the rest because they accept a wide range of goods without big ­complications,” Twahirwa tells The Africa Report.

The relationship was sealed by President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rwanda in 2018. In September last year, Twahirwa signed a life-changing agreement worth $100m with China’s Chinese GK International Enterprises to supply 50,000tn of chilli annually for five years. This deal enabled him to expand from about 6ha to 160ha, to employ more people and invest in better fertilisers and seeds.