Rutsiro Honey Ltd, a natural honey production plant in Rutsiro district, western Rwanda, has announced plans to start producing four brands of wine by the end of the year.
The plans were revealed at an exhibition of its natural honey bee products from the forests of Mukura and Gishwati, certified with an S-Mark from the Rwanda Standards Bureau (RSB).
Marie Chantal Nyirakamineza, Managing Director of Rutsiro Honey Ltd encouraged local and global consumers and honey markets to use their products which have been proven to be of healthy and high standards.
Nyirakamineza says that since its inception in 2018, the company has grown from a production capacity of 3% to 17% and the biggest plan is to increase both the quality and quantity of honey in the market.
Rutsiro Honey Ltd is one of the companies benefiting from the National Industry Program – Community Processing Centers (CPC) – “Uruganda Iwacu” to promote and facilitate the production of products made in Rwanda by private companies.
The honey factory produces around four tons of natural honey per month which is sold in local and global markets.
Nyirakamineza said their honey products are very popular in Rwanda and in international markets because of their quality and standards.
“Our honey products (Gishwati honey) can be found in every store and many buy it because it is natural and healthy. We have also had the quality of our products tested in Europe (UK and Germany) and Arab countries, and the feedback we have received is that we have quality natural honey, ”Nyirakamineza said.
In Rwanda, only four brands of honey have been certified for sale in global and regional markets. These include the brands Gishwati, Nyungwe, Akagera and Ibirunga Honey.
Nyirakamineza said that the quality of their honey is maintained by processing the raw products without any additives, which is why the quality has been appreciated and certified by the Bureau of Standards.
The National Agency for Industrial Research and Development (NIRDA) is a government institution whose mission is to enable a generation of industrial innovators to become competitive through the monitoring, acquisition, development and transfer of technologies. and applied research.
Dr Christian Sekomo Birame, Managing Director of NIRDA, said that Rutsiro Honey Ltd is one of the most successful community transformation initiatives promoting the Made-in-Rwanda agenda which can be seen in other areas like Rwamagana banana wine and Nyabihu potato processing factories.
Rutsiro Honey Ltd officials revealed that they plan to start producing natural honey wine by the end of 2021. Four brands will be made up of honey wine, honey wine and ginger, honey and passion and honey and pineapple wines.
Officials said it would increase the income of beekeeping communities around Gishwati and Mukura parks, but also improve nature tourism activities around national parks.
“Visitors to the park will be able to visit our activities but also buy our honey and wine,” said Nyirakamineza.
Rutsiro Honey Ltd works with a cooperative of beekeepers UNICOAPIGI- which brings together five associations operating in the national parks of Gishwati and Mukura.
Union president Jean Damascène Hakizimana says Rutsiro Honey Ltd gave their farmers a consistent good market for their harvest (12-15 tonnes of honey) and also NIRDA research support following the negotiation with the company.
Meanwhile, beekeepers are calling on the government to step in to solve the challenge of bee reduction caused by reduced forest cover due to deforestation, the use of agrochemicals that repel bees – which they say can be done by planting more flowering trees and researching the use of non-toxic agricultural inputs.