Rwanda has intensified efforts over the past few years to increase exports, particularly for non-traditional trade products like flowers, vegetables and fruits. These efforts have encountered various challenges, including the high cost of air freight and other logistical issues, such as lack of cold facilities.
High freight charges and other logistic problems hinder the country’s initiatives aimed at boosting export volumes, making products less competitive on the global market. Horticulture exporters say they are sometimes forced to reduce their export shipments because of freight charges of up to $3 (Rwf2,520) per kilogramme.
These problems could soon be history as the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) and some airlines have agreed to reduce freight rates by almost half, according to Epimaque Nsanzabaganwa, the NAEB horticulture division manager.
Nsanzabaganwa said the export body was engaging airlines with the view of providing price waivers to sector exporters.
He feels that the initiative is essential if the country is to increase horticulture and other agro-exports and encourage more businesses to engage in export trade.