Govt banks on community processing centers to boost SMEs
In a bid to increase local production and address challenges the Small and Medium enterprises-SME cluster is facing, the government is has started community processing Centers-CPCs.
The Minister of trade and Industry Francois Kanimba said that the processing centers will increase SME contribution to the national economic development in line with government programs.
“The ministry initiated the CPC concept in 2012 as a mechanism to address the challenges SMEs are facing and boost local production capacity for recapturing local, regional and international market,” he said
The processing center are seen by government as role model centers to help boost the creation of more SME in processing cluster to boost production needed to increase exports
The Minister say that so far a community processing center in Gatsibo district for leather is operational while equipment for two more Community processing centers, the dairy in Burera and Irish potato in Nyabihu district were procured last year and awaiting installation.
While a processing center for banana in Rwamagana district is ongoing with its construction process expected to end by June this year.
“the operationalization process of four more CPC will start by 2015 namely tailoring and fashion, ceramics and pottery , minerals and precious stones and honey as well,” the Minister added
The SME cluster that is struck with challenges less capital and taxes is seen as the country’s engine towards job creation and increasing production to leapfrog the economy to middle income.
To achieve this , Minister Kanimba says the government has embarked on several strategies such as hungaumurimo(create your own job), Business Development Fund for collateral support which is likely to boost the cluster.
“By February this year, business development advisors will start providing advisory services to potential entrepreneurs and existing ones at sector(Umurenge) level,” Kanimba added.
The SME which are part of the private sector are seen as ways to boost the value addition mainly for agricultural products destined for export while on the other hand create off farm jobs.