Youth still find it difficult to access credit to invest in agribusiness despite ongoing efforts by the government to attract them into the sector.
According to the number of youth who talked to Rwanda Today, they have at least once thought of creating their own jobs, but getting the starting capital was the main obstacle.
Even though the government through Business Development Fund (BDF) allocates around Rwf900 million every year to support youth as a starting capital in agribusiness, the funds have made no impact.
Theoneste Hakuzimana, a young entrepreneur in agro-processing told Rwanda Today that getting funds from either BDF or other financial institutions is complex due to the requirements and policies among other things.
“One of the most popular funding of BDF is a starting capital money which is perfect by name but with that money being meant to benefit fresh university graduates presenting a collateral of 70 percent of the amount of money you need to rock many of them out the list. Let’s say you need Rwf2 million, how many fresh graduates can get Rwf1.4million?” posed Mr Hakuzimana.
Difficulties in getting the funding also noted by BDF annual reports, with a limited number of the projects being funded by nearly half of the budget.
According to the BDF annual report, out of Rwf900 million meant for the young entrepreneurs in agribusiness, only 51 projects countrywide have been funded with Rwf373million disbursed as a loan while only Rwf111 million have been disbursed as grant.
Youth in the agribusiness laments over the inflexible requirements and policies that lock them out of the funding targeted beneficiaries.