Upcountry firms upbeat as NIRDA concludes a tour to support Open Calls applicants

Firms engaged in different value chains selected for NIRDA 2020-2021 Open Calls Program have expressed optimism to participate in the competition and win it to get support to acquire upgraded equipment to boost competitiveness and productivity in their respective firms.

NIRDA experts last week concluded  upcountry tour to facilitate applicants in the Open Calls Program and help them to understand well its concept and apply for the support.

The exercise to support applicants covered the whole country and ended last week.

NIRDA Open Calls program offers opportunity to firms in selected value chains to compete and acquire upgraded equipment in a bid to boost competitiveness and productivity and create more decent and productive jobs.

The 2020-2021 Open Calls focus on Piggery, poultry and animal feeds value chains in agriculture sector and stone value chain in urbanization sector.

Applicants from different sites have expressed optimism in the Open Calls Program saying it comes as a response to them and would help winners acquire equipment and other training.

Boniface Hakuzimana owns a pork processing firm called Treburo Ltd. He said that the Open Calls Program is an opportunity for him to acquire additional and upgraded equipment.

“I normally have small slaughtering machines that I use, they are not enough for me and I want modern equipment to satisfy the big market we have in Rwanda and in DR Congo,” he said.

“I have already applied for the support of a slaughtering equipment, cooling machines and transport, I am optimistic that such equipment will help me boost competitiveness and productivity,” he added.

He said that Open Calls Program is a good initiative given that he and other colleagues resisted from acquiring loans from Banks due to high interest rate and the requirement to present the collateral.

“But with NIRDA, I hope to get free interest loans and no one will take my property as a collateral, this is a golden opportunity we should not miss out as business people,” he said.

NIRDA is partnering with Enabel, a Belgium Development Agency to support firms in all the four value chains.

Languide Mukarurangwa, a pig farmer from Rubavu district said “This a very exciting program, I have pigs and I have a plan to engage in pork processing but I found it hard to start due to failure to secure a loan and a collateral to present to banks,”

“Now that NIRDA brings in this Open Calls program, I hope that once I win the competition, I will acquire upgraded equipment to venture into pork processing, my dream is to own a slaughterhouse,” she added.

Selected processors in the piggery, poultry, animal feeds and stone value chains will be supported to acquire upgraded equipment on free interest loans and without any collateral to help them double their efforts to boost competitiveness and productivity.

Selected processors also acquire training in marketing, business management, business advisory services among others to ensure they can run their respective firms effectively.

“We want to leverage technology to support firms engaged in poultry, piggery, animal feeds (for pigs and chicken) as well as stone for construction materials value chains to improve their competitiveness and productivity on both local and regional market,” said Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti, Public Relations and Communications Specialist at NIRDA.

Participants have expressed their interest in the Open Calls Program saying that once they win the competition. The deadline for application expired on 1st December 2020.