Rwanda and Turkey have signed an agreement of cooperation in the fields of agriculture and livestock, an official at the Rwandan embassy in Ankara, Turkey said.
The agreement was signed by Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Faruk Celik, and Rwanda’s Ambassador to Turkey, Amb. Williams Nkurunziza, at the closure of the Turkey-Africa Agriculture ministers’ meeting in Antalya, last Friday.
“The two countries’ ministries of agriculture will implement the provisions of the agreement which provide for cooperation across 13 different areas key among them being agricultural value chain development; small scale processing industries; cold chain technologies; post-harvest technologies and animal feed development,” Eric Rugamba, an official at the Rwandan embassy in Ankara told The New Times.
He said the two ministries are expected to set up a Joint Agricultural Committee “which will develop a workplan aimed at translating the spirit of the agreement into action.”
Rwanda was one of six African countries to sign cooperation agreements in the agricultural sector during the Antalya ministerial meeting.
Others are the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia and Djibouti.
The Antalya first-ever Turkey-Africa Ministerial meeting which was opened by Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim in the Presence of the President of Guinea, Prof Alpha Conde and the President of Somalia, Mohammed Mohammed, was convened by the Government of Turkey in collaboration with the African Union (AU) with a view to focusing collective attention on the agricultural sector as a key pillar of rural development and the promotion of food security.
More than 45 African ministers and country representatives attended the two-day meeting.
An agriculture-focused business forum run concurrently with the ministerial meeting and was attended by more than 300 African private sector players.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the ministerial meeting, it was observed that agriculture is critical to the continent’s quest for poverty reduction and wealth creation.
Though Africa has 65 percent of the world’s arable land, it is home to some 233 million people suffering from perennial hunger.
It was observed during meetings that these victims of hunger could be nourished just by eliminating agricultural waste on the continent, through improved post-harvest management and value addition.
In light of this, the communiqué called for urgent acceleration in the modernisation of agriculture in Africa with special focus on increased yields, value addition, research and development, innovation as well as elimination of agricultural waste.
Turkey offered to support this process through sharing of expertise, technology as well as investments in African agriculture projects.
The meeting also called for including women and youth in the Africa agricultural transformation agenda.
It is noted that 43 percent of the African population is under 14 years of age, making it the youngest and largest in the world.