The Government and the Republic of Korea, yesterday, signed two financial agreements worth $16 million (about Rwf11bn) to support the agriculture sector and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes.
Up to $11 million will be channeled toward the country’s bid to achieve its strategic goal of unlocking rural growth through agriculture transformation, while $5 million will be invested in capacity building in TVET programmes.
The funding for agriculture aims at promoting a community-based integrated rural development model following the famous Saemaul Undong approach of Korea with beneficiaries’ mindset of self-help, diligence and cooperation.
The Rural Community Support Project will also increase agriculture production and marketing in marshland and hillside areas targeted for development.
“Agriculture and capacity building are some of the crucial areas of our economy as indicated in the EDPRS2.
They significantly contribute toward poverty reduction,” the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete, said during the signing ceremony.
The Community Support Project will be implemented in 50 months (2014-2018), according to the minister.
Hwang Soon-taik, the Korean ambassador to Rwanda, said his country will continue to partner with Rwanda in those projects expected to accelerate economic growth.
“The rural community based support project aims at reenergising rural economic development and reducing the poverty gap between urban and rural areas,” the envoy said.
Tony Nsanganira, the State Minister for Agriculture, said the project will help support more than 30,000 farmers.
“We want to increase skills and capacity in those areas that will help boost productivity and increase household incomes,” Nsanganira said.
Linking farmers through research based approaches, field schools and other programmes will help increase productivity, Nsanganira said.
Agriculture is projected to grow by 5 per cent by the end of 2014, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Through the Division of Labour arrangement between Rwanda and development partners, Korea concentrates on education, agriculture, ICT and are key partners in urban and rural settlement as well as health.
The government and the Republic of Korea recently signed an agreement to extend a loan facility worth $51 million (about Rwf36 billion).
The 40-year concessional loan is from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and will be used in developing University of Rwanda’s infrastructure.
The loan has a grace period of 15 years and will attract an interest rate of 0.01 per cent.