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Dufatanye Commercial Producer Group (CPG) is an Irish potato Farmers’ Cooperative from Nyarubande Cell in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Dufatanye CPG is made up of 53 members and owns 62 acres of land for Irish Potato growing. The CPG was formed after commercialization Campaigns by Farm Concern International, FCI under the Rwanda Domestic Markets Programme funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Members of Dufatanye CPG during one of their meetings.

Mr. Munyangeri, the Chairman of Dufatanye CPG remembers the difficulties they faced in accessing market and trade information. According to him, “households did not own domestic small vegetable plots (locally referred to as kitchen gardens) for domestic consumption; farmers lacked the confidence to venture into regional markets like Kigali with their produce and traders, in most cases brokers imposed prices on produce.”

“The introduction of the Programme by Farm Concern International (FCI) particularly market linkage has facilitated us to be able to supply our commodities to Kigali markets specifically in Kabuga, Nyabugogo and Kimironko markets earning us better prices. This is done through Village Business Forums (VBF) and business exposure visits. Trade in Irish potatoes is more organized and we are benefiting from the linkages created since we are able to bypass middleman.”

Through partnerships with traders from the different markets in Kigali created through VBFs introduced by FCI smallholder farmers can access real-time price information.  According to him, “we have been trained to save and we have so far saved up USD 10,000 with the local Sector  SACCO in accordance with the Government of Rwanda Program.  From the year 2012, we have invested USD 8,500 in building an irish potato Village Aggregation Centre and an agro input store in our village. We intend to have saved USD 12,000 by the end of 2013 with which we plan to open other stores in other places”.

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FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.