Rwanda Starts Food Fortification to Boost Exports


Source: East African Business Week


6 MAY 2013

Rwanda is looking at food fortification to boost exports in foodstuffs and help to increase foreign exchange receipts.

The new move would also minimise the costs of importing processed foods.

Food fortification is a commonly used public health policy of adding micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) to foodstuffs to ensure a healthier population.

Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the Rwanda Bureau of Standards director general, is optimistic that food fortification will help increase quality of foods that would enable them to have a higher competitive advantage both in the region and on international markets.

“We cannot compete on volumes on the market, but we are always looking at taking quality products to the market and this is why we always ensure quality and standards of our products,” he said in an interview with East African Business Week.

Bagabe said by adding micro-nutrients such as vitamins and iron to locally processed foods will give them an advantage to compete with imported foods on the local market, but also increase food exports.

“When foods are fortified it means that nutritional value of foods are improved and people can have essential micro-nutrients to reduce on micro-nutrients deficiency which is still a challenge,” he said.

Rwanda spent over $86 million on importing consumer goods amounting to 95.5000 tons in January and Febraury 2013, compared to $72 million in the same period under review.

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