The Government of Rwanda has received additional funds from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to support several agricultural projects in the country.
Finance Minister John Rwangombwa and the IFAD President, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, yesterday signed an agreement which will see the world body provide additional funds to the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA) and Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project (KWAMP).
The 7-year, US$28m PAPSTA project received an additional US$1.78m from IFAD termed as Standard Drawing Rights (SDR) which will be allocated to several PAPSTA accounts on top of a grant of US$1m from the Department for International Development (DFID).
The project, which is supposed to create a shift from subsistence farming to market-based farming in the districts of Bugesera, Gakenke, Kirehe, Ngororero, Nyamagabe and Nyanza, is co-funded by IFAD, DfID and World Food Programme (WFP) among other donors.
IFAD provided a loan of US$8.2m, a supplementary grant of US$3.0m as well as a grant US$200.000. The project is expected to benefit more than 10,000 households.
The KWAMP project which is expected to end in 2016 will cost US$49.3m of which IFAD is providing US$26.8m and an additional SDR of US$3.95m.while the Government of Rwanda will provide US$9.3m.
It will benefit over 23,000 households in Kirehe District in the Eastern Province. It intends to promote diversification as well as supports farmers to shift from subsistence to intensified market-based farming.
Among others it supports marshland land development ad rice farming in the Eastern Province.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Finance Minister Rwangombwa noted that IFAD has been crucial in supporting agricultural development in the country, and in turn has directly benefited thousands of families which depend on agriculture.
“These two projects have impacted on the lives of our population and it’s in this regard that we want to thank IFAD for the part it plays in the development of our country,”
“As you might know IFAD is a key partner particularly agriculture and rural development, building the capacity of our farmers as well as supporting the strategic plans for agriculture development,” Rwangombwa said.
Dr. Nwanze noted that IFAD is committed to continue supporting agriculture development in Rwanda because it is one of the few African countries that have shown a positive trend in agriculture growth as well as value for money.
He noted that IFAD has financed over 13 rural development projects to the tune of US$150m a double the figure with co-financers. He said that currently IFAD is funding five projects in the country.
Earlier before the signing, the UN official had been to Bugesera District where he visited several household agriculture projects, interacting with farmers and also inaugurated the Community Innovation Centre.
He commended the Government programme of one cow per one family programme, defining it as “very successful” in improving standards of living.