Diversified construction firm Nationwide Group International is set to finance Rwanda’s push toward modern farming methods and agriculture mechanization. The firm plans to provide agriculture equipment worth $200 million. It will also inject more funding in construction-related projects.
Ed Kostenski, the founder and president of Nationwide Equipment said the firm will lease to farmers and contractors a range of agro-equipment to help them improve productivity and value-addition. He said that once equipment is made affordable for farmers the production process will improve and in turn output will increase.
Furthermore, no interest will be paid on leased equipment for the first one year, but beneficiaries will pay less than 3% interest p.a. for the next five years.
Under the country’s agriculture mechanization strategy, the government targets to increase the mechanization levels to 25% by the end of next year with a view to be at 50% by 2020. However, mechanization uptake remains low despite a 2015 policy, where farmers can buy or hire farm equipment.
Meanwhile, Rwandese farmers have welcomed the initiative, saying it could prove critical as the country targets to record up to 8% annual growth rate for the sector under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II).
Kostenski revealed plans to increase the company’s support to the construction sector from the current $13m to $18m in the next few months. The increase in investment, according to him, is owing to a projected upward trajectory in Rwanda’s construction industry.
Nationwide Group International is the leading project financing powerhouse in the United States of America with operations in mining, construction and marine equipment supply, oil and gas, exploration and production, as well as refineries.
The group specializes in the rental and sale of reconditioned earthmoving and road-building machinery. It has been operating in several African countries over the last two decades, serving private companies and government bodies.