World Bank country manager has commended the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy for targeting the agriculture sector.
Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank boss said the EDPRS rightly places considerable emphasis on agriculture and focuses on raising agricultural productivity.
The strategy is promoting commodity chains, agribusiness and strengthening institutional framework in the agricultural sector at both the central and local level.
This will see more Rwandans jump out of the poverty bracket. The country has about 9 million people, and the agricultural sector alone employs more than 80 per cent of the population.
Kwakwa was speaking at the launch of the 2008 World Development Report at Serena Hotel in Kigali on Monday.
The report addresses key issues such as trade and market liberalisation, the problem of underinvestment in agriculture research and development.
The report also highlights the stagnation of agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa and low public investment in agriculture.
She said that while putting in place structures to support agricultural growth in the long run, they hope that Rwanda can engineer its own specific kind of agricultural revolution which focuses on small holders and their very diverse farming systems.
Kwakwa said there is growing consensus amongst development partners that agriculture needs at the centre of the policy agenda of most countries in the region.
“World Bank’s lending commitments for agriculture and rural development has already increased to over $550m in each of the last two fiscal years,” she said.
Adding: “This upward trend must continue, and the World Bank outlines this in its African Action Plan.”
There are also new agenda items which include climatic change, the rise of the private sector and the emergence of new agriculture in the report.