Investing in agriculture is way forward

Rwanda’s agricultural investment plan that was presented during this weeks’ Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Project (CAADP) meeting, lays out a roadmap for transforming one of the most important sectors of our economy. The investment plan presented to over 300 agricultural experts and donors is meant to support sustainable food and nutritional security, increase the incomes of rural households and eventually secure national economic growth.

Rwanda’s agricultural investment plan that was presented during this weeks’ Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Project (CAADP) meeting, lays out a roadmap for transforming one of the most important sectors of our economy.

The investment plan presented to over 300 agricultural experts and donors is meant to support sustainable food and nutritional security, increase the incomes of rural households and eventually secure national economic growth.

According to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Minister for Agriculture,  the plan aims to transform this crucial sector into a modern, professionally-managed and market-oriented economic undertaking.

For this ambitious plan to be realized, it will call for targeted investments that create an environment conducive to increased production especially investing in the infrastructure required for agricultural intensification.

It will also call for adoption of agriculture technological innovations and strong public – private sector partnerships.
The fact that the investment plan shows a total investment gap of about 38 percent, or approximately $ 325 million, over a period of 3 years (2009-2012), is also an issue of concern.

The agricultural sector remains the economic backbone of this country employing about 80 percent of the working population. This sector contributes slightly above 30 percent of the national GDP and generates about 80 percent of total export revenues.

Research conducted on Rwanda’s agricultural sector shows that public investments to this sector needs to roughly double from current levels in order to achieve the CAADP target of sustained 6 percent agricultural growth.

Rwanda is doing a lot to achieve this ambitious target. The country is targeting a 9 percent sustained growth rate in the agricultural sector over the next coming years to be able to achieve MDG1 of halving poverty by 2015.

Since agricultural transformation has been identified as one of the major pillars for achieving the Vision 2020 goals and cutting down poverty levels, the ‘investment plan’ presented this week needs all the support it deserves.

Above all, It need increased public expenditure to this sector.

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