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newtimes - 1 month ago

5 things to know as Masoro seed processing plant is privatised

Rwanda has ceded 100 per cent of its stake in Masoro seed processing plant to Tri-seed Company Ltd, a local private company comprised of 20 Rwandan shareholders. This is one of the resolutions of a cabinet meeting of April 14. The plant established in 2013, has a capacity to dry, sort and treat at least 10,000 metric tons of maize grain annually, exceeding the country’s annual target of between 6,000 and 7,000 tons. However, reliable information from Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) indicates that the grain plant has, for a couple years, processed an average of 3000 metric tons owing to poor management of public facilities. Consequently, experts say the new management is expected to boost the plant’s seed production. Here are the 5 things to know: 1. Rwf1.2 billion sale According to a reliable sources the plant was sold at Rwf1.2 billion, ending a three-year government call for investors. RDB had placed a call for bids in 2017. The government is keenly eying the private sector as the main driver of economic growth. 2. $1.7 million worth of initial investment Tri-seed Company Ltd has reportedly committed an investment outlay of Rwf1.7 billion to renovate the facility. The money is meant for renovating the facility based on the business plan. It will also help to acquire equipment. 3. Boosting local capacity Previously the government has largely relied on foreign investors for privatizing its assets. This transaction will now boost local capacity to participate in the purchase of national assets. This is solely a local investment. From a technical point of view, it is obvious that they will be able to mobilize and engage more producers since they understand the local situation, sources say, adding that the local firm presented a solid business plan. 4. End to seed shortage If the business plan presented by the investors is followed, farmers can now expect easy access to quality seeds because of increased availability of seeds. According to RAB, majority of the country’s plants perform at low capacity partly due to the lack of resources. Investors have promised regular supply of raw materials to the plant, which has not been the case. “This also makes the plant a market to the seed producers. If there is regular supply of raw materials consequently there is regular supply of seeds hence increasing availability,” the source said. RAB pointed out that this will cut the country’s seed import bill. 5. Employees retention The New Times has established that employees working at the firm will not be affected by the acquisition. “Those employees are under RAB, and there has been guidelines with the institution to allocate them in different positions,” the sources said, adding that: “If the measures are strictly observed, no employee will be affected.”


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