Ministry seeks Rwf2,776b to carry through Govt’s zero hunger by 2023 target

Friday December 21 2018

An irrigation project in Rwanda.

An irrigation project in Rwanda. By the end of 2017/18 fiscal year, government initially hoped to irrigate over 100,000 hectares of farmland — over 16,600 hectares a year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has appealed for Rwf2,776 billion to fund the next Strategic Plan for the Agricultural Sector Transformation (PSTA 4) that will be implemented over the next six years.

The 2018-2023 plan will take into account comprehensive employment, enhancement of farmers’ skills, ensuring an enabling environment and responsive institutions to fast-track the achievement of zero-hunger goal in Rwanda.

Annual allocation

Under current government spending, this will require government to increase its annual allocation to the agriculture sector three-fold, from Rwf125 billion that government allocated for the sector in the 2018/19 financial year to Rwf462 billion in every year’s allocation, with Rwf70 billion contribution from the private sector.

The ministry lobbied for the allocation during their meeting with Members of Parliament to update them on agriculture’s importance.

“We are appealing to you to advocate for the increment of the resources for the sector from both the public coffers and private sector to enable us to do this work,” Jean Claude Musabyimana, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, told the MPs.

The sector’s summary report cites low private sector investment, climate change and negative environmental effects such as drought and floods, limited agricultural land and land fragmentation, limited human resource capacity and numbers involved in research as having hampered agricultural productivity.

Irrigation plan

By the end of 2017/18 fiscal year, government initially hoped to irrigate over 100,000 hectares of farmland — over 16,600 hectares a year.

However, currently, the irrigation scheme covers only 53,375 hectares.

According to the officials, the ministry has revised the annual target to 9,000 hectares as this would be more feasible.

The ministry’s plans indicate that by the end of the PSTA six-year programme, over 142,500 hectares of land will be consolidated from the current 110,041ha, with irrigation scheme covering 102,284ha from current 48,508ha.

Under Rwanda’s agricultural exportation account, the country plans to increase coffee yield by 75 per cent from the current 2.8kg to 5kg per tree, while tea yield will grow from 7 to 9 tonnes per hectare, while exportation of horticulture products will increase by 45 per cent and reach to 46,314 tonnes per annum.