Rwanda - Country Commercial Guide
Agriculture Sector

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-11

Overview

Agriculture is a historical mainstay of Rwanda’s economy.  Per the World Bank, Employment in agriculture contributes 62.3 percent of total employment in Rwanda, occupying 71 percent of all females employed and 53 percent of males.  It remains a key sector in Rwanda’s efforts to foster private sector development. 

Agriculture is a priority sector in Rwanda’s Vision 2050 national development strategy.  The government aims to replace subsistence farming with fully monetized and technology-intensive commercial agriculture and agro-processing by 2050.  Principal agricultural exports are coffee, tea, and some value-added agricultural products such as canned tomatoes, honey, french beans, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, and mushrooms.  Rwanda exports live animals, unprocessed meat, and dairy products to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The increase in flight routes in and out of Rwanda with RwandAir and other carriers to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia has facilitated an increase in fresh agricultural exports from Rwanda.  Rwanda’s agricultural advantages include its high altitude and moderate temperatures, which allow for year-round cultivation.  In 2018, a study sponsored by USAID identified export opportunities in fresh crops such as passion fruit, snow peas, chilis, and mushrooms.  There are also opportunities in input provision, crop aggregation for export, and cold chain logistics.  Rwanda is landlocked and the land is divided into small parcels, which poses a challenge to large commercial farming but can allow specialty crops.  Rwanda will need to increase the extent of cultivated land under irrigation while importing increased amounts of inputs (such as seeds, fertilizers, and small-scale machinery) to achieve its value-added agricultural development goals.  

Agriculture Sector Profile

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total Local Production*

1.394 trillion RWF= $2.048 billion

1.547 trillion RWF =  $2.273 billion

1.722 trillion RWF= $2.188 billion 

2.027 trillion RWF = $2.436 billion

2.043 trillion RWF = $2.373 billion

2.191 trillion RWF = $2.437 billion

n.a

Total Exports**

$212 million

$238 million

$248 million

$356 million***

n.a

$465.4 million***

$419.1 million***

Total** Imports

$349 million

$323 million

$322 million

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

Imports** from the US

 

$648,925

$1.6 million

$1.4 million

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

Total Market Size

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

Exchange Rates

680 RWF = 1USD

716 RWF = 1USD

789 RWF = 1USD

832 RWF = 1USD

861 RWF = 1USD

899 RWF = 1USD

N/A

Source:  *National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) Statistical Yearbook, 2016 and 2019 editions. Note:  Agriculture production here includes food crops, export crops and livestock.         

            Source:  ** UN Comtrade Database, May 16, 2017

            Source:  ***Rwanda National Agriculture Export Board

Leading Sub-Sectors

Leading subsectors include grains (such as maize and beans), vegetables, fruits, and livestock.  Due to climate change and Rwanda’s proximity to large markets such as Uganda, Burundi, and Eastern DRC, demand for food exports is high. 

Opportunities