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Rwanda launches online portal for agri-produce trade

The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has announced the launch of a new online portal aimed at reducing the cost of importing and exporting agricultural produce

State minister for agriculture Tony Nsanganira said that the new portal is a ‘double win’ for importers and exporters of plants/plants materials, animals/animal products and agrichemicals in Rwanda. The portal will allow them to speed up the process of acquiring import and export permits.

Speaking about the new portal Nsanganira said, “ICT is no longer an option but a necessity for economic development. We can hardly do without it. We rely on the ICTs for almost all our daily activities, including communications, transport, and businesses, just to mention these few.”

The project has been funded by the ministry through a direct project funding of US$150,000 from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) a regional trade facilitation institution, Nsanganira told reporters.

“The linkages within the system will enhance inter-government agency coordination with the aim of improving service delivery and good governance in Rwanda,” said RALIS director general Beatrice Uwumukiza.

Uwumukiza explained that the management information system has been integrated with the Rwanda electronic single window, which allowed information sharing between Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and the Ministry of Agriculture. It will also be integrated with financial systems such as the national payment gateway and banking systems, further reducing transaction and administrative costs.

The trade portal comprises of two interlinked platforms. The front-end login portal caters to Rwanda agriculture livestock inspection and certification services (RALIS) stakeholders and allows them to access services ranging from information on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, international and Rwanda trade regulations. The second platform is a management information system to be used by RALIS management and staff to process requests for services.