Rwandan Chili to Be Auctioned on China's e-Commerce Platforms

Twahirwa tends to his chilli farm in Rwanda's Bugesera District

Rwandan chili is set to be auctioned online in China after local coffee performed well in campaigns targeting consumers on China's e-commerce platforms

Chili is among the Rwandan products being exported to China under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).

Rwanda and the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2018 signed an agreement that opened doors for small businesses in Africa to take part in the cross-border electronic trade by availing their products to the Chinese market through the eWTP platform.

In earlier events, only Rwandan coffee featured, and good sales were made.

A chili pepper farmer and exporter tends to his crop in Bugesera District. Photo: File.

An example of the events is a recent one that was held last week, where about 1.5 tonnes of roasted coffee beans were sold within a minute on Thursday during an online live streaming event aimed at promoting Rwandan coffee in the Asian country.

Earlier this year, in a similar event held in Hangzhou City, up to 2,000 packets of Rwandan coffee were sold in about 10 minutes

Organised by the Alibaba Group, the online events have been aiming to promote Rwandan coffee which is available on the Chinese e-commerce market.

In an interview with The New Times, James Kimonyo Rwanda's Ambassador to China hinted that they are looking at making an event for chili,

"We are looking at so many things to do with Rwanda and we are happy that coffee has become a signature export crop," he said, adding; "In fact I should have mentioned that at some point we will do another event on Rwanda chili, it is becoming very popular in Tmall."

Tmall is a subsidiary online platform of Alibaba Group.

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Rwanda fetched $1 million from chili exports, according to statistics from National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

In the same year the country exported 721,000 kilogrammes of chili, which demonstrates the rising potential of crop in the midst of the country's efforts to diversify its exports.

Last year, Rwandan young agribusiness entrepreneur, Dieudonné Twahirwa, landed a deal to supply 50,000 tonnes of dry chilli worth $100 million (about Rwf90 billion) every year to China, a move expected to significantly boost Rwanda's agricultural exports.

The five-year agreement was signed in September 2019, at the Rwandan Embassy in Beijing between Twahirwa and the Chinese GK International Enterprises, a trading company dealing with import and export of different items, including food items, solar coating, among others..

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