Rwanda exports dried hybrid chilli to India for the first time

The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) project has implemented several initiatives over the past months including Rwanda’s first dried chilli export to India.

SITA has also embarked several activities that aimed at boosting the export of East African countries, involving Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to Indian market. The products include pulses, sunflower, leather, textiles and garment.


The first ever containers of dried hybrid chilli was exported from Rwanda to India in April 2018. The shipment was worth nearly US$23,000 and signifies the start of a new export industry for the country.

Smallholder farmers undertook the export procedures themselves which included securing the relevant documents, packing containers, dealing with the shipping line, and organising fumigation of the containers, among other steps.

The farmers are now preparing for the next season where 35 Ha are already under chilli cultivation and over 15 containers are expected to be shipped to India in late August-September this year.


SITA facilitated the participation of pulse traders and select public sector representatives from Kenya and Tanzania in the annual conference of the Global Pulses Confederation in Colombo, Sri Lanka 8-10 May.

The annual GPC conference is the largest international global event on pulses, bringing together producers, traders and other market players in one forum. More than 500 leading pulse and legume industry representatives from 40 countries attended.

By attending, SITA aims to raise awareness on trends in the global pulses market, create linkages with international traders and processors of pulses, and to highlight opportunities for trade and investment in pulses in East Africa.


SITA held 1.5-day workshops in Kampala, Uganda from 18 June 2018 and in Dodoma, Tanzania from 20 June 2018 for stakeholders in the sunflower oil sector. The aim of the workshops was to strengthen the capacity of the sunflower oil industry associations in Uganda – Uganda Oil Seed Producers and Processors Association (UOSPA), and Tanzania – Tanzania Sunflower Processors Association (TASUPA), by sharing knowledge and best practices from model industry association in India – the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA of India).

Furthermore, the workshops provided a platform to disseminate the results from earlier tests carried out by an expert scientist from the UK, on the composition of sunflower oil from Tanzania and Uganda. Over 30 stakeholders participated from the sunflower oil industry, including representatives from farmer cooperatives and the public sector and sunflower processors and producers.


SITA led a delegation of leather stakeholders to the All Africa Leather Fair from 8-10 June in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The delegation to the 10th addition of the Fair was made up of 8 representatives from 7 companies from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

The Fair targeted stakeholders from along the leather value chain including Leather, Leather products and allied industries such as chemicals, technologies and machinery. SITA hosted a booth where delegates were able to exhibit their products and meet potential buyers.

By participating in the AALF, SITA’s aim was to strengthen intra-African trade and facilitate linkages along the value chain including between Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian producers of semi-finished leather and tanners from Ethiopia to value add to the finishing process.

Textiles and apparel 

Hand loom: Under a new spin-off project, SITA organised a technical training programme on “Advanced Weaving Techniques and Technologies” in Bengaluru, India, in association with Indian social enterprise, Industree Foundation.

The training is part of a larger initiative to strengthen the Ethiopian hand loom value chain – from farm to fashion – through the transfer of technology and best practices from India. Four Ethiopian master weavers from the Bahir Dar region participated in the Weavers’ training programme, held from 23 April to 5 May.

The training aimed to introduce weavers to new technologies and designs to see whether some of these technologies may be beneficial and adaptable to the Ethiopian context.