Various feeder roads in the agricultural areas are set to be upgraded following a new $60m (about Rwf41 billion) credit from the World Bank.
The first batch $45m (about Rwf30 billion), of the International Development Association credit agreement, signed by the government yesterday at the Ministry of Finance, is expected to support the upgrade of about 270 kilometres of feeder roads that connect to major market areas in Karongi, Rwamagana, Gisagara and Nyamasheke districts under the government’s Feeder Roads Development Project (FRDP).
The second part of the credit agreement worth $15.9m (about Rwf 10.8bn) is additional financing for the government’s programme called the Third Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP 3), which raises on increasing and diversifying agricultural productivity, according to Amb. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
“Boosting agricultural productivity and easing transport of farmers and their produce to market centres is the best way to ensure sustainable improvement of farmers’ welfare,” said Carolyn Turk, the World Bank country manager.
Turk said they were focused on reducing poverty levels significantly and promoting resilience going forward in the rural livelihoods.
The Feeder Roads Development Project is expected to directly benefit about 439,000 people in the four districts, while the Third Rural Sector Support Project would benefit 101,500 rural residents by the year 2018.
“This support will enhance agricultural production and improve food security, through crop intensive farming programmes while at the same time reducing post harvest losses that come about as a result of poor feeder roads,” Minister Gatete said.
He said jobs would be created for Rwandans who participate in the road construction processes.
Tony Nsanganira, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, welcomed the new funding, saying it would accelerate the government’s objective of completing the construction of at least 3,000 kilometres of feeder roads over the next five years under the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy.