The Partnership for Food Industry Development/ Natural Products (PFID/NP) is helping to revive the essential oil industry in Rwanda working in partnership with Ikirezi Natural Products, World Relief and ADAR (Agribusiness Development Activity in Rwanda), among other institutions. World Relief and ADAR Project are key supporters of Ikirezi Natural Products.
Ikirezi Natural Products is a community-interest business that works with small associations/cooperatives of farmers in Rwanda to produce high quality geranium oil for local and international markets.
In 2002, Rwanda began to rebuild its essential oil industry. Locally available varieties of geranium were introduced into cultivation trials, when the plants reach maturity their essential oils were extracted by steam distillation. As part of our Quality Control support, we found that the organoleptic and chemical profile of these essential oils did not exhibit the properties of commercial available essential oils.
In an effort to upgrade the essential oil industry to higher standards, new geranium plantlets were obtained from South Africa, Clieve Teubes International and ASNAPP-South Africa provided key support to procure a suitable variety for international markets. The new varieties were grown in Gasabo (near Kigali) and in Rushaki (near the border with Uganda). The geranium crops were produced following Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), while harvesting and processing of essential oils were made following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The organoleptic profile of these two new essential oils (Gasabo and Rushaki) showed rose and sweet notes, the physicochemical properties were in accordance with the standards of the commercial samples. These new varieties of geranium from Rwanda have also received positive feedback from industry.
PFID/NP is providing trainings to public institutions, like the Rwanda Bureau of Standards, to conduct quality control analysis to monitor and evaluate the production of essential oils. We have also provided minor supplies, standards and essential oils from other countries to facilitate the development of in-country Quality Assurance/Quality Control program, opportunities for rural communities through the identification and sustainable development of indigenous natural products. The PFID/NP Project Focus To help establish, develop and strengthen successful private and public partnerships to facilitate sustainable economic growth of sub-Saharan African natural plant product agribusinesses and to increase domestic and international trade within specific target countries.
Technical publications and research support in Rwanda
2005. H. Rodolfo Juliani, Nicholas Hitimana and James E. Simon. Quality Assurance/Quality Control Program for the Production and Processing of Essential Oils in Rwanda. The Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Tracking System and Quality Control Procedures for Essential Oils. Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual, Partnership for Food Industry Development in Natural Products, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
2005 - H. Rodolfo Juliani, Nicholas Hitimana, Mingfu Wang and James E. Simon. 2005. Quality Characters of Geranium (South African origin) Essential oils cultivated in Rwanda. Partnership for Food Industry Development /Natural Products (PFID/NP) Technical report. 9 pp. Submitted to ASNAPP-Rwanda
2004. Juliani, H.R., Nicholas Hitimana, H. Moharram and J. Simon. The Quality Control of Eucalyptus essential oils from Rwanda. Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products. Technical report. 5 pp. Submitted to ASNAPP-Rwanda
2003. Juliani, H.R., N. Hitimana, H. Moharram, M. Wang and J. Simon. Quality Characters of Essential oils from Rwanda. Part II: Eucalyptus, Basil and Vetiver. Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products. Technical report. 12 pp. Submitted to ASNAPP-Rwanda
2003. Juliani, H.R., N. Hitimana, H. Moharram, M. Wang and J. Simon. Quality Characters of Geranium, Lemongrass and Tagetes Essential oils from Rwanda. Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products. Technical report. 11 pp. Submitted to ASNAPP-Rwanda.
Geranium producer community in Rwanda.