Megavet business success attributed to diversification and strong networks
Emanuel Ntinirhiya, an agricultural engineer by profession got into agribusiness through a partnership with Agropha in 2001. With 15 years experience in the agribusiness sector, he has been able to juggle the ropes of the trade to diversify his business.
Megavet East Africa was conceptualized 11 years later in 2012 as a separate entity with three departments in veterinary medicine, vegetable seeds and pesticides. Three years down the line and the business has been growing exponentially, doubling their sales turnover every year. The company imports seeds from China, South Africa, India and Asia then packages for distribution into the market, both locally and internationally.
For the veterinary medicine, he has a good business relationship with companies that supply him from Kenya, India and China who supply him with the seed and drugs. The drugs come branded from the source. The pesticide business will start operation in 2015. Emmanuel has also contracted a Belgium European company named Pitco Asia which is responsible for ensuring quality control measures are in place for the drugs. This has helped build a long term relationship with the farmers who are the end users.
He explains that medicines are costly with a lot of factors at play. “The products are used by farmers who need a lot of training on how to use the drugs. Emmanuel notes that there is need for financial capacity to buy more goods and train more farmers on extension services and multiplication of seeds.”
Emmanuel attributes his success to having an established company that has a recognized brand and qualified staff. Megavet also has three established branches in Kigali, Rusizi and Rubavu. The company also does business with other AAA members. He supplies ‘my seeds’ to Sake Farm owned by Kayitesire Marie Laetitia, Jean Claude Ruzibiza of Rwanda Best and Agro protection by Philippe who are their distributors. House of vitamins owned by Dr Francis Habumugisha is also his client where they buy the seeds and supply to farmers. They in turn buy the produce. In 2015, He will be selling pesticides to Jean Bosco Rugamba’s High Performance Service and Business which deals with rice growing and processing.
His future plans are to expand the business as the name suggests. For the seed department, he has plans to increase the crop seedlings to 20 as he currently only deals with six crops carrots, red and white onions, cabbage, beetroot and cucumber. Megavet would also like to start producing some of their own seed for green pepper, maize, tomatoes and French beans to reduce the imports. He is working towards having the seed business fully established in the next three years.
The company leases plots for seed demonstrations in the East, North and West, where they cost share with the farmers. They chose the modern farm in the area, provide the seeds and pesticides then the produce belongs to the farmer. Plans are underway to acquire land for demonstration sites. He also envisions having each entity as a business on its own with each department operating individually with its own staff and financing.