The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project (PSDAG) has officially launched its partnership with ENAS Enterprise to upgrade and improve storage facilities of maize and bean grains, which are observed as the main staple foods serving Kirehe and the surrounding districts of the Eastern Province of Rwanda.
ENAS Company owned by Nkubili Alfred and Sons has acquired advanced facilities equipped with modern technologies for grains drying and storage.
With the USAID’s support valued at Rwf 184 million, ENAS successfully purchased and installed a well-equipped Grain Drying and Storage Facility in Nyakarambi Sector in Kirehe District, Eastern Province.
Nkubili spent a total of Rwf 452 Million to fully establish the facility that was officially launched on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Kirehe District.
Andrew Nassiuma, the Country Manager of BrazAfrica Enterprise Ltd which supplied equipment to ENAS Enterprise told TOPAFRICANEWS that “The Drying and Storage Facility which was launched is a 100% well-equipped with advanced Technologies so that the daily production of dried grains could go higher than before while at the same time storage capacity also is expected to multiply.”
Established in 1997, Enterprise Nkubili Alfred and Sons (ENAS) have invested in a variety of agribusiness including input supply, production, and aggregation, storing and trading of staple food crops.
Nkubili said “The Company aims to conduct profitable business in a socially conscious manner by supporting local small holder farmer.”
He said that he has invested in Kirehe as part of contributing to the country’s agricultural sector growth while at the same time helping farmers to reach a market for their agricultural harvests.
He also added that “Putting in place a facility like this is also finding a solution for post-harvest loss that farmers encounter when there is a lack of post-harvest handling facilities.”
Rwanda Agriculture Board whose official was present at the event said that “To date at least 15% of harvests are recorded as loss due to lack of storage facilities.”
RAB official said currently the country is able to store 294,000 tons while in total 430,000 tons per year need storage.
With the USAID Partnership, ENAS will be able to increase its drying and storage capacity from 6 MT to 16 MT per annum.
ENAS investment comes at an optimal time when there is a need of more drying machinery and storage facilities for the maize value chain, where the risk of Aflatoxin hinders the ability of small holder farmers from accessing high end markets that demands higher quality raw materials but will pay a premium price.
Speaking at the Event, Fina Kayisanabo the USAID/Rwanda Private Sector Development Team Lead said “The Partnership with ENAS is a good example of partnerships that support the National Transformation strategy.”
She added that the launch of “the facility is very good news for Kirehe district “noting that the USAID is glad to be in partnership with this ENAS project which is, she says, “A reflection of great partnership because it comes to solving an issue that is touching the whole system.”
Through the Partnership with PSDAG, ENAS also set up 10 collection centers managed by local cooperatives and trained their farmers in post-harvest handling techniques among other services that farmers are receiving.712