With its meagre capacity to meet the growing demand, wheat on other hand is still wading in the waters of price instability which famers and government agree need to be addressed to increase production.
Farmers say that due to uncoordinated value chain farmers find themselves tangled between the higher price of middle men and the prices from processors who go through famer cooperatives.
“We still get low prices from processors, we opted for middle men since they are giving us on higher prices,” said Laurene Kanyarwunga, a wheat farmer from Gakenke district.
According to the ministry of trade and industry the farm gate price is Rwf 300 while middle men pay the farmers for up to Rwf 400 which therefore brings about uncoordinated value chain for the crop.
With this, it is almost hard to streamline the value chain in order to increase its production that is needed to close the wheat deficit the country is currently facing.
“When we have different prices within the value chain, it is hard to boost production but working with farmers and other stakeholders, I think we need to have a coordinated value chain,” said Francois Kanimba, minister of trade and industry.
Statistics from ministry of agriculture and animals resources indicate that wheat production is expected to increase to 96,000 tons this year compared to over 130,000 tons that are being imported.
With price stability as well as identifying more areas for wheat production are priority interventions that the government is banking on to increase the crop production.
“Our objective is to increase production and ensure that our industries get enough wheat,” the minister explained.
Currently, the country has at least five wheat processing industries that mainly rely on imported wheat from neighbouring countries.
The government in a bid to increase production of crops stepped up efforts to stabilize the price as well as remove barriers within the value chain. So far the government has already stabilised prices of maize, Irish potatoes among others.