Working woman mit face mask

Partnership with Sosoma Industries Ltd.

Ensuring food and job security
during the Covid-19 pandemic in Rwanda


Context and challenges

Job and income losses: Covid-19 puts Rwanda’s food security at risk

In Rwanda over one third of the population live below the poverty line and almost 20 per cent of the country’s households are affected by food insecurity. In addition, chronic malnutrition is a pressing issue as almost four in ten children between 6 and 59 months of age are affected. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic increases the severity of this situation, even though Rwanda’s government is mounting special efforts to keep agriculture running.

In Rwanda, food security relies on producing major staple crops. Maize ranks third among major crops, as it covers large amounts of Rwanda’s cultivated land. By producing and processing maize, Sosoma Industries Ltd. provides safe, high-quality and value-added nutritious food – just what’s needed to reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 on food security.

The joint project between Sosoma Industries and Invest for Jobs aims at improving food security and seeks to contribute to the elimination of malnutrition in the region. Facilitating the production of nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable fortified maize flour – locally known as Kawunga – helps meet the nutritional demands of a continuously growing population and counter-act the effects of Covid-19, which reduced wages and led to job losses putting people’s food security at risk.

At the same time, the project helps Sosoma Industries preserve and create much needed jobs while increasing the community income of farmers and other workers involved in the maize supply chain.


Fortified maize flour: an improved product that offers jobs and food security

Sosoma Industries receives support from Invest for Jobs to introduce a fortified maize flour that meets the nutritional demand of Rwanda’s population especially during a potential food crisis that is resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

For this, the company automates core production processes. New equipment such as a much-needed drying machine will be purchased and newly hired machine operators receive specialised training to operate the new machinery.

Farmers in Sosoma Industries’ partner cooperatives will also receive training. Subjects include grain sampling, grading techniques and quality assurance – all to improve the local supply chain and enable farmers to increase their production of maize and soy beans. Overall, the farmers will benefit from the market linkage and a reduction of production losses: In the future, Sosoma Industries will be able to purchase maize as it is harvested without any additional treatment.

At the other end of the supply chain, Sosoma Industries will recruit 100 commercial agents across Rwanda to distribute the produced maize flour. While hiring, priority will be given to youth, women and to experienced sales staff who are idle due to COVID-19.

Overall, these measures help the company to lower their cost of production, enabling them to offer their fortified maze flour at a lower price to Rwanda’s rural population and existing and new institutional buyers, such as Non-Governmental Organisations, hospitals, schools and retailers (through increasing and strengthening selling points).


Retaining and creating jobs that aid long-term food security

This project is geared towards supporting Sosoma Industries’ to retain its 68 current employees and create 108 additional jobs within the company and in the supplying farms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project also contributes to food security in Rwanda through the improvement of the maize flour supply chain: from farmer trainings, to automating production processes and extending the final product’s distribution to remote areas of Rwanda.

The project is currently in implementation. New equipment has been procured and newly hired machine operators have commenced their training. Next, Sosoma Industries will recruit and train sales agents as well as organise the training of farmers.

This project is implemented by Sosoma Industries Ltd. together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and supported by Invest for Jobs of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project status


Project locations

Rwanda Kigali

Project objectives

Job retention Job creation Food security



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