Suppliers of Kinazi cassava factory have requested its managers to invest more in their farms if they want to have enough raw materials to operate at full capacity.
Kinazi sector, one of nine sectors of Ruhango District is a farming basket for cassava in Rwanda. The sector has thousands of farmers growing cassava and have established cooperatives.
They have pledged to supply Kinazi Casava plant with 120 tons of raw cassava required to operate at full capacity, if the plant is ready to give them fertilizers and seeds.
“If the plant contributes to the production chain by providing fertilizers and seeds, we promise to supply them whatever quantity they want,” Philippe Mageza, president of Coamki (Cooperative des agriculteurs de Manioc de Kinazi) told KT Press.
Coamki is part of several cooperatives of farmers who grow cassava on 3,000 hectares in Kinazi annually.
The farmers say, they are not getting value for money in the supply to the factory.
Mageza said that a farmer spends at least Rwf100, 000 on cassava sprouts per hectare and Rwf475, 000 on fertilizers.
On average, they harvest 20 tons per hectare and sell at Rwf100 per kilogram to the factory, which makes it Rwf2 Million.
When you subtract the cost of labor (Rwf400, 000), fertilizer and sprouts, a farmer may take home Rwf1, 025,000 per hectare.
Kinazi cassava factory has production capacity of 120 metric tons per day but due to short of supply of cassava, the factory processes 30 metric tons every day.
Oscar Mutuyimana, a cassava farmer says some cassava growers drag their feet over supplying the plant because it delays to pay them.
“The price is good but we refuse to supply the plant due to delays in honouring payments and prefer on spot payments,” said Mutuyimana.
Emile Nsanzabaganwa, Managing Director of Kinazi cassava factory says the factory faces a challenge of short supply.
“We strongly need to put our cassava flour onto the local market but it’s very expensive. To change this trend, we need sufficient production,” said Nsanzabaganwa.
One kilogram of Kinazi floor is extracted from 3kg of raw cassava. It costs Rwf1200.
Fulgence Nsengiyumva, State minister in the Ministry of Agriculture said the only solution for reducing price of Kinazi cassava flour would be to increase cassava supply to the plant to process at its full capacity.
Since 2010, a deadly cassava pest affected the harvest. Cassava resistant to diseases was distributed to farmers and the sector is recovering.
Kinazi cassava factory that is worth $10 million started its operations in April 2012.