China on Wednesday received the first consignment of dried chili pepper from Rwanda, making it the first African country to debut the product on the Chinese market.
The move follows a deal secured by Diego Twahirwa, a young Rwandan entrepreneur in agribusiness and China's GK International, located in Hunan Province.
Under the agreement, Rwanda will export 50,000 tonnes of dried chili, every year, for a period of five years.
"The imported 200 kg of dried chilies will be sold to dealers and then given to customers and food processing plants as samples," said Yu Jian, chairman of GK International in Hunan.
According to Twahirwa, the consignment delivered on Wednesday was a sample with a bigger one expected to be seen off on Monday, August 9.
This, experts say, is a good market opportunity for Rwanda in terms of expanding its steadily growing chili exports.
China has the world's largest number of dried chili pepper consumers, exporting 119,900 tonnes of dried chili peppers in the first half of 2021.
Across the Asian country, Hunan is a big consumer and processor of chili peppers across the country.
However, the pepper plantation in Hunan cannot meet the local demand from the dried chili pepper processing industry, according to reports.
Before imports from Rwanda, only seven countries were allowed to export dried chili peppers to China.
Last month, the General Administration of Customs gave the green light to dried chili pepper imports from Rwanda, making it the first African country to gain access to the lucrative market.
This is not the first time Rwanda exports dried chili to an international market.
The country has previously exported to India, a market exporter say has not been highly favorable due to small cost of the product, which made it a risky business.
"This new market will double the cost, with unlimited capacity, making it a sustainable market," said Twahirwa, adding, "It also gives a reliable market to local farmers for their chilli."
Based on this, Twahirwa asserts that Rwandans will have an opportunity to get a foothold in a lucrative market.
Source: The New Times