The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Premier Pledges Support to Kayonza Edible Oil Company

The government is committed to supporting Soya Bean processing plant (SOYCOM) in Kayonza district, Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has said.

SOYCOM will cost $14m (Rwf8.8b) upon completion, is jointly owned by Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, Mount Meru Group of Companies, Crystal Ventures Ltd, Rwanda Social Security Board and Kayonza district.

The PM, who addressed employees at the plant, underscored the role and importance of the industry to the country's economy. He was accompanied during yesterday's tour by ministers Protais Musoni (Cabinet Affairs) and Dr Agnes Kalibata (Agriculture) and Governor Odette Uwamariya.

"The government will offer full support to the industry. It has potential to produce enough cooking oil for Rwanda. Agriculture and Education ministries will work closely with the industry managers to increase its efficiency," he said.

SOYCOM will be using mainly soya beans and sunflower as raw materials to produce cooking oil. The facility, which is scheduled to rollout in July, will produce edible oil from sunflower seeds and soy beans. The by-product - soy and sunflower cake - will be used as animal feed.

The PM visited various installations of the plant and appreciated the targets of the owners.

"Our goal is to see more foreign investors in Rwanda. What I have been told and seen around the industry is indeed promising in economic terms," Habumuremyi said.

According to the managers, the company will process 60,000 tonnes of soybeans a year. SOYICOM is expected to end import of edible oil. Currently, the country imports almost all edible oil. The company will indirectly employ 240,000 farmers, and some 200 persons directly.

Company chief executive John Birungi expressed fears that they would not get enough soybeans to process the cooking oil. But the PM said stakeholders would work for a solution.

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