Kimironko market is a newly built market in the east of Kigali City that sells different consumer products including fresh foods. It serves the upscale suburbs of Kigali and is known for providing good quality fresh produce including Irish potatoes used in Hotels, Kiosks, Restaurants and Bars. Many of its clients want quality and are willing to pay for it. Good quality Irish Potatoes however are grown in Kinigi and before the intervention of Farm Concern International, FCI under the Rwanda Domestic Markets Programme funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it was difficult for traders to get the quality they wanted. Traders had to go at night to the Irish Potato Market in the West of Kigali or travel to Kinigi to ensure they had the quality they wanted. It was both costly and inconveniencing either way.
Produce Traders in Kimironko Market
FCI started by carrying out market research in Kigali City before organizing Village Business Forums (VBF) and Market Exposure (ME) for both market Traders and Farmers. This led to increased trust before individual farmers and traders signed mutual contracts or agreements of partnerships thereby eliminating brokers/middlemen who caused uncertainties by speculating and causing volatility in the marketing system.
Due to its location, Kimironko market traders can buy and sell 15,000 Kgs of Irish Potatoes per day. Nowadays farmers from Kinigi in Northwest Rwanda do not need to travel to Kigali because they only need to use their phone and communicate with their trade partners in Kigali, agree on prices and volumes and prepare the commodity as agreed. This has helped both farmers and traders to save and plan better.
According to Marie Louise, one the Traders in Kimironko Market introduced by FCI to Institutions in Kigali as part of its Commercialization drive, the partnerships save money for both farmers and traders. According to her, “instead of farmers loading their produce in lorries in the hope that markets will favor them, today farmers know how much they will sell, for how much and to whom even before they go to their gardens to harvest. Traders on the other hand simply call and the produce will be at their doorstep the next morning.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond