Pacifique is 24-year-old graduate in biotechnology from the University of Rwanda. He is a trained laboratory technician in the areas of biotechnology and molecular biology, where he also served at the National Reference Laboratory, Rwanda Biomedical Centre Division.
Pacifique is a passionate young entrepreneur and he is a graduate of the Regent University Centre for Entrepreneurship through Rwanda Business Development Centre (BDC Rwanda) and Rwanda Development Centre (RDB).
His startup business of organic banana production and packaging and his company, Real Green Gold Ltd, was launched in September 2015 and nominated to the Africa Rethink Awards held in Paris last year (through the famous network of Land of African Business). And still is a fellow of These Numbers Have Faces/Accelerate Academy, an US nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable development in Africa through entrepreneurship.
Today, he is also working with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT Rwanda): a Canadian nonprofit organization working in youth empowerment worldwide. At DOT Rwanda, Pacifique is a StartUp! Programme Facilitator and Coach through the Youth Leading Change Programme that DOT Rwanda is delivering to train rural youth on starting to own their small-to-medium businesses.
My project is the organic banana production and packaging, this is a cash generating project that sells high-quality organic bananas of the Gros Michel variety, primarily to the local market, i.e. hotels, restaurants and supermarkets in Kigali.
This project has been going for five months, though we have not yet made sales are waiting for our first harvest in nine months coming. But still we are having problem with limited capital issue where we are working on a quarter-hectare of the total two hectares on our disposal and still as our vision to export our bananas.
This project is intend to valorize our community bananas first as my community is facing challenges in accessing the good market. Second, it is about changing banana farmers’ minds where most of them have been cultivating banana for subsistence while as an educated young entrepreneur I am willing to promote this banana industry by exportation, transformation into wine, liqueurs,
etc. And sure at my bachelor’s degree final research I have made my first banana liqueur with 40% alc. Vol., with banana aroma and sweetness, which I intend to commercialize next to this project. Again, as Rwanda is a growing economy with tourism and big hotels and restaurants taking part of our market, we are planning to take advantage of that opportunity and build a successful business in organic agri-products.
Our plan for growth and market penetration is built on the first phase we are in now, where we expect our first harvest into the next nine months and start by supplying two to our restaurants or hotels in Kigali.
And today’s production capacity on the first harvest is nine tonnes of fresh organic bananas that worth 1.8 million Rwandan francs equivalent to USD 2,400; our price for a kilogram is 200 Rwandan francs, equivalent to USD 0.27.
Furthermore, we are looking forward for other capital that will help us to expand our plantation to the full two hectares on our disposal to sustain our business by producing up to 24 tons of fresh organic bananas that can bring us to a turnover of US$6,400 in one year.
To reach our vision of exporting organic bananas, we have one mechanism to find a good number of bananas to export as us alone we can produce that much bananas to be exported.
Our plan is to train other local banana farmers on organic farming, provide them with minimum viable toolkits and contract with them to sell their production into our market connection. Through this we wish to impact these local banana farmers’ livelihoods as they were doing banana farming just for subsistence.
Our plan for the USD 5,000 grant is to expand the size of our plantation from today’s quarter-hectare to two hectares and this would take 30% of the grant is some of the job related to preparation was done. The other part would go to the construction of a small washing and packing station, which might take up 35% of the grant as we will not need to buy a land because we have it already.
Finally, the resting 25% of the grant would help us to add other two employees to the actual two workers on the farm and marketing. If we make it get this grant, it is going to helps sustain our three-year plan we are working with, first through the phase we are in with production, marketing and team building.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Pacifique Nshimiyimana (Rwanda): pacifiquens[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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