Charles Sekazuba, a resident of Kinigi in Northwest of Rwanda, has benefitted from Farm Concern International, FCI’s market linkages under the Rwanda Multi-Value Chain & Enterprise Development Programme implemented by Farm Concern International with support from World Vision Rwanda.
His profits have had a 733% increase to between 2,300,000 to 2,500,000 Rwf from 300,000 Rwf per season. Charles cultivates Irish potatoes on his farm. Previously, brokers (middlemen) and transporters gave him wrong market information on markets prices and benefitted more than him. Yields from his farm were sold without grading, in most cases as a mixture of good medium and bad quality which was affecting the prices and his revenues. He says that, prior to the intervention by Farm Concern International, Irish potato farming in Musanze was commercial but not aligned to market needs. “I could not deliver my farm products to the markets and deal with traders. I remember in some agricultural seasons, I could harvest from 1 tons to 5 tons and still be not able to sell it because of lack of market information”, he said. He noted that he lost potatoes which got rotten due to lack of market information in two consecutive seasons. A trader would come from Kigali and negotiate prices at the farm gate, price at which he could give the produce on credit. Later in the day, the trader would inform him that the market price had slumped and therefore he would lose a lot of money. However, things changed from the time Charles started working with FCI; through Village Business Forums and market exposure, he was able to familiarize himself with the market dynamics.
Through the linkage, he was able to get his produce’s worth by being in touch with traders; and access information on the market prices, and know what and when they needed. Charles is able to decide which market to supply depending on the quality and amount of his yields. “I am grateful and appreciate FCI’s market linkage. I harvest my produce knowing that Seburo (trader linked by FCI) is ready to come and collect it moreover paying in cash; no more debts. I can monitor my crops; decide the best period to harvest, get market information and double check the market prices in collaboration with traders from Kigali,” he says.
Sekazuba also noted that, transportation of commodities is now very easy as the trader goes with his own transport and pays the agreed price after communicating with other traders in Kigali and takes the agreed amount of produce and price at the farm gate. “Ever since I started working with FCI, my revenue has increased which allowed me to buy 30 acres of land. I am able to cater for my family needs, carry out my responsibilities and pay for the school fees and medical insurance for my family,” he says barely concealing his pride. He concludes, “I am planning to purchase more land for increased production of Irish potato but I will need continued support from FCI particularly more training on agronomy and market linkages. Thank you FCI”.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond