Consumers flocking one of the biggest Carrefour outlets at the Mall of Emirates in Dubai appreciated new fresh products including avocado and passion fruits from Rwanda on Sunday.
Speaking at the launch, Emmanuel Hategeka Rwanda's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates welcomed the move by Carrefour to open the gates to Rwanda's quality fresh products following a supply of goods partnership agreement signed with Rwanda's National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) in November 2020.
Carrefour hypermarket and supermarkets operate in 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With its 320 stores, it serves more than 750,000 customers daily.
Under the deal, Rwandan exporters will be supplying to this wide UAE retailing company with passion fruits, apple banana, pineapple and avocado.
"This is an exciting partnership and one that benefits multiple players including Rwandan farmers, our national airline and consumers in UAE who will enjoy quality fresh products delivered timely thanks to regular flights to Dubai by RwandAir. We look forward to growing the product base and sustaining the market opportunity," Hategeka said.
Claude Bizimana, Chief Executive Officer of NAEB thanked Carrefour for the agreement and the trust they have in agriculture produce from Rwanda.
"Our exporters are happy to supply horticulture produce that satisfies clients' taste on a regular basis," he said.
The partnership between NAEB and Carrefour is seen as a key enabler for Rwandan producers of fresh products, exporters and the country's economy at large, according to Rwandafresh- the brand for Rwanda's fresh products including fruits and vegetables.
This deal is even important given that Rwanda targets to generate $130 million from horticulture exports by 2024.
Strategies to achieve this target include increasing investment to ensure production of quality fresh products to compete favourably on the international market, according to NAEB.
According to NAEB, fresh produce exports from Rwanda are expected to be made weekly, and they will depend on the purchase order from Carrefour based on its demands and sales statistics.
Rwanda exported 31,788 tonnes of horticulture commodities (vegetables, fruits, and flowers) which generated $28.7 million (about Rwf27 billion) during the fiscal year 2019/2020, indicate figures from NAEB.
This represents an increase of 5 percent compared to $27.1 million generated from over 37,343 tonnes of horticulture exports in 2018/2019.