According to figures from National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), the Rwanda has over 13,000 garlic farmers grouped in 11 cooperatives, who produce over 3,000 tonnes of garlic every year. The produce is sold both locally and in the export market.
But as the closure of borders with neighbouring countries in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 affected Rwanda’s garlic exports; as a result, farmers now heavily rely on the local market. They claim this has led to oversupply of garlic and effectively occasioned a drop in prices.
“We are counting huge losses,” Emmanuel Semugeshi, a garlic farmer from Musanze District told The New Times. In March, Semugeshi planted 1,200 kilogrammes of garlic seeds on two hectares in an investment worth over Rwf4 million. “Currently I am stuck with four tonnes of garlic. The produce is rotting as we do not even have proper storage facilities,” he noted. Semugeshi might lose Rwf15 million in potential revenues from over four tonnes.