Access to capital related challenges faced by local agriculture could ease, albeit marginally, following the launch of a Rwf39 billion Fund by U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID).
The Fund will be launched on Tuesday this week.
The funds will be availed under a five year project aimed at increasing loans and investments to small and medium businesses in the agricultural sector and is estimated to create 30,000 jobs by 2023.
The project is dubbed Nguriza Nshore, which loosely translates to “lend me so that I can invest”.
The programme will work with a host of Government ministries to develop and refine policies, regulations and strategies that foster growth of Rwandan small and medium businesses.
The intervention comes at a time when the local agriculture sector stakeholders have cited access to capital as one of the major challenges they face.
This is despite the major role of the sector in the economy.
Central Bank statistics show that agriculture sector received only 1.5 per cent of loans in the first half of 2018.
Banks’ reluctance to lend the sector has been linked to high risks and lack of adequate information on profitability of the sector.
Experts have also called for de-risking of the sector to encourage financiers to work with the sector.