Agriterra visits maize cooperative in Rwanda
In April 2016 Agriterra’s East Africa team has opened up an office in Kigali, Rwanda, in order to expand its working area to the African Great Lakes Region. Since April, Agriterra has explored various value chains and has analysed the business cases of dozens of agricultural cooperatives in the Eastern part of DR Congo and Rwanda.
In August Agriterra’s local business advisory team was connected to IABM, a maize cooperative in Muhanga, in the Southern Province of Rwanda. IABM is a multiplier of base maize seeds, but has recently diversified its business activities by investing in a maize hammer mill. This new activity offers a lot of potential for IABM’s 750 members, but the risk profile of the cooperative and its members has also increased significantly because of the investment.
After the introduction, Agriterra has visited the headquarters of IABM to do a scoping of the organisation. Special emphasis was placed on management, financial management, governance, cooperative principles and of course the various business cases of the organisation. Based on this scoping exercise, and after discussion with Agriterra’s headquarters in Arnhem, the team has decided to go ahead and organise a full week of company assessment with 2 Agripool experts from Agriterra’s constituency cooperative organisations in The Netherlands. Based on their analysis, Agriterra might start a partnership with IABM in 2017, in order to strengthen the organisation in their mission to become a sustainable and profitable business, able to improve the livelihoods of its members.