Rwf36bn UK fund to transform agriculture

The Government and the United Kingdom, through the Department For International Development (DFID), yesterday, signed a financing agreement worth £34 million (about Rwf36billion).
Minister Mukeshimana (R) greets Mark Davies, the DFID livelihoods advisor, as  Beaufils looks on before the signing ceremony in Kigali yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)
Minister Mukeshimana (R) greets Mark Davies, the DFID livelihoods advisor, as Beaufils looks on before the signing ceremony in Kigali yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

The Government and the United Kingdom, through the Department For International Development (DFID), yesterday, signed a financing agreement worth £34 million (about Rwf36billion).

The grant, to be disbursed over four years, will support the third phase of the country’s agriculture transformation.

The funds will help boost agriculture productivity to benefit the poor.

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Laure Beaufils Head of DFID Rwanda( L) together with Finance minister Claver Gatete listen to a question from the audience.

Speaking at the event, the Minister for Finance and Eonomic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete, said the support will contribute toward efforts geared at achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

“By supporting agribusiness and increased commercialisation, agriculture provides an important source of wealth creation and a pathway out of poverty and creates more jobs and income for others,” Amb. Gatete said.

“By improving resilience, livelihoods will be strengthened and people will be able to make the most of opportunities.”

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Laure Beaufils Head of DFID Rwanda( L) together with Finance minister Claver Gatete sign documents.

The support will be allocated to the World Bank Performance for Results (PforR).

The PforR makes disbursements upon the achievement of pre-agreed strategic results in the Government of Rwanda’s latest Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA III).

The key areas to be supported include agriculture and animal resource intensification, research, technology transfer and farmers’ training, value chain development and private sector development and institutional development, according to Agriculture minister Geraldine Mukeshimana.

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A journalist raises his hand to ask a question as Laure Beaufils Head of DFID Rwanda looks on.

“More effort will be invested in supporting those cross cutting issues in the agricultural sector along the value chain,” Mukeshimana told The New Times on the sidelines of the meeting.

Laure Beaufils, head of DFID Rwanda, called on the ministry to ensure that the transformation is more efficient, productive and incorporates the element of climate change mitigation.

“Agriculture is key to both economic growth and poverty reduction, so we will continue to support government to ensure that the country’s growth is more inclusive,” Beaufils, said.

Agriculture grew by 5 per cent and contributed 1.5 percentage points to the overall Gross Domestic Product during the second quarter of 2014.

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Sheila Mutavu staff in the ministry of Finance( R) chats Laure Beaufils Head of DFID Rwanda (C) as Mark Davies livelihoods Adviser DFID looks on before the signing. (Photos by Timothy Kisambira)

Overall, the entire sector contributed 33 per cent of the country’s economic growth.

According to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, food crops fetched Rwf310 billion, livestock and livestock products Rwf41 billion, while export crops brought in only Rwf20 billion, reflecting only 2 per cent contribution to the country’s GDP current prices.

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