We have been learning so much about agribusiness and doing business in Rwanda!
On Wednesday we had two really great site visits. The first was at Sorwathe, a tea factory and plantation, one of the largest and most successful in Rwanda. Sorwathe makes three kinds of tea – black, green and orthodox. They export their tea throughout the region, to Europe, the Middle East and Canada. We learned all about the tea making process and all the elements that go in to making the tea – you wouldn’t believe how many steps there are!
Here is a picture of us touring the tea factory:
We had a wonderful lunch at the guesthouse at Sorwathe. The guesthouse had incredible views.
They even had Tennis and ping pong for us to play while we were waiting for our delicious lunch.
We then traveled to visit Sina Gerard, one of Rwanda’s most famous and successful entrepreneurs. Gerard is a self-made millionaire, who began his empire by working in bakery owned by his parents. He moved his bakery to the main road, where he became very successful. He then started producing passion fruit juice, banana wine and pineapple and strawberry juice. He later produced the first Rwandan hot sauce, which is his most successful product. He now has a large product mix from yogurt to cereal, peanuts, mineral water and even wine!
Gerard also gives back to his community in many ways. He opened a primary and secondary school in a town about an hour from Kigali, where his factory is located. We visited the school and met many of the students.
We also had the opportunity to tour the farms and production facilities and meet with Mr. Gerard. We shared business ideas and learned how he became so successful. We even got to try his donuts, juices and banana wine!
Here is a picture of pineapples at Sina Gerard: