The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources , in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has organised a three-day seminar on Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA4).
The seminar, held yesterday, attracted 200 participants both national and international experts in agriculture sector and is expected to help increase job opportunities in the sector to absorb a large labour force dominated by youth.
“Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy,” said Jean Claude Kayisinga, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry.
Figures from the National Bank of Rwanda show that the agriculture sector accounts for approximately 33 per cent of the GDP, employs 69.2 per cent of the Rwandan labour force, generates 60 per cent of the foreign exchange, and provides 75 per cent of raw materials for industry.
Since 2004, MINAGRI has developed and implemented three strategic plans for agricultural transformation in Rwanda (PSTA I, PSTA II, PSTA III), all aimed at harmonising agriculture sector development activities with national and international blueprints.
The six-year plan will take into account the ongoing agriculture policy development and articulate it around resilience and sustainable intensification, articulate around productivity, commercialisation for food security, incomes and consumption of healthy food.
The new strategy will also focus on inclusive employment and improvement of farmers’ skills,” said Kayisinga, adding “We want to tap into your experience to help us build a robust and realistic plan.
Though the sector was expected to grow at least 8.5 percent per annum, recent growth trend shows the agriculture sector growing only at 5 per cent in 2015/16.