Rwanda improves in food security

RWANDA has beaten food secure regional heavyweights Tanzania and Kenya to emerge 11th among developing nations in ActionAid’s annual Hunger Scorecard report.

RWANDA has beaten food secure regional heavyweights Tanzania and Kenya to emerge 11th among developing nations in ActionAid’s annual Hunger Scorecard report.

The report, a copy of which The New Times has seen; comes out today placing Rwanda in the 11th position, six places better than last year’s 17th position, Tanzania in the 15th position from the 13th position it held in 2009, Kenya in the 16th position from 11th in 2009 and Burundi in the 27th position from last year’s 28th.

The report attributes Rwanda’s improvement to the new government policy which supports small-scale farmers.

“This progress was made possible by the new government policy which supports small-scale farmers with crucial tools and seeds, while expanding irrigation and supporting environmentally sustainable production methods to tackle the endemic problems of soil erosion in the country,” the report reads.

Agriculture in Rwanda has improved mainly due to the increased investment in the area, which rose by 30 percent between 2007 and 2009.

The report, however, points out that more investments will be necessary to consolidate these gains.

Brazil holds the first position, followed by China, Vietnam, Malawi, Ghana, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Uganda, Guatemala and Ethiopia.

It managed to overtake 17 countries and on its heels are Nigeria, Cambodia, Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Liberia, Zambia, Haiti, India, South Africa, Gambia, Lesotho, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Overall in Africa, Malawi holds the first position, Ghana the second, Mozambique the third, then Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. In East Africa, Rwanda holds the second position after Uganda.

ActionAid’s Head of Partnership development, Fundraising and Communications, Sulah Nuwamanya; says that his organisation this year incorporated the MDGs element to gauge how far governments had gone towards achieving them.

He explained that the indicators in the annual scorecard are based on government policies put in place to eradicate hunger.

These, he said, include various legislations towards supporting agriculture like the right to food and access to information laws, both of which are pending legislation.

Others include government budget allocation towards agriculture investment, social protection and gender equality.

The report comes ahead of an upcoming summit of Heads of State in New York to assess progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

On hunger, the MDGs commit leaders to reduce by half the, proportion of people who are undernourished as well as children that are underweight.

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