Horticulture Value Chain & Business Continuity in Rwanda

Rapid Impact Assessment of COVID-19

Paper author: 
Mr. Clement Mukurarinda
Paper publication date: 
Thursday, November 5, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) first declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic in March 2020, given its impact on the entire world population and the economy. This novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has continued to spread across the world from Wuhan, China where it has been first diagnosed near the end of 2019. As of September 06, 213 countries and territories around the world are affected by this virus and infected patients reaches 27 million people, more than 883,000 people had died, while more than 19 million had recovered. On the same date Rwanda has confirmed 4349 cases, 18 people have died and 2199 have recovered.

COVID-19 pandemic is bringing not only global health risks, but also unprecedented global economic damages and agriculture is among the affected sectors. The rationale of this study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on horticulture value chain and business continuity during and post the crisis to inform policy makers and actors on effective mitigation measures necessary to recover the losses encountered in horticulture value chain in Rwanda.

The study was conducted using online quantitative and qualitative data collection tools including questionnaires targeting farmers and different categories of actors including extension service providers, horticulture cooperative leaders, aggregators of fresh produce, processors of horticulture harvest and exporters, totalling 490 individuals from 8 districts where Oxfam implements horticulture related programs. 

The findings revealed that the functioning of horticulture value chain relying on both the steady demand for fresh fruits and vegetables from different market segments, and the ability of farmers to supply quality horticulture produce, which also depends on their access to quality inputs, extension services, financial services, and information to their business has been damaged as COVID-19 affected all those critical needs on both demand and supply sides.