KIGALI - The budgetary allocation for agriculture in the upcoming 2011/12 budget has increased by five percent, from Rwf 64 to Rwf 67 billion.
The money, according to the Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa, will be spent on increasing potential in the sector through promoting exports and facilitating farmers’ access to markets.
This, Rwangombwa said, is under the general framework of eradicating poverty, mainly in the rural areas.
Agriculture forms one of the priority expenditures of the government’s annual budget with focus on increasing productivity.
“While we have the crop intensification programme that is having a big impact on food security, we are putting money in exports like horticulture, tapping into the potential of our rural areas,” Rwangombwa said.
The agricultural sector has grown at an average of 4.9 percent over the last five years, contributing about 36 percent to the overall national growth.
Part of the budget is allocated to Rwanda Development Board, (RDB) to strengthen the quality and quantity of commercial farming, increase diversification of new agricultural products and develop markets for the produce.
Rwanda Development Bank will also be allocated part of the funds to boost its export promotion fund, while Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme will be financed to construct markets and warehouses.
Rwangombwa said the investment is more focused on infrastructure development, agriculture for export and increase in agricultural productivity.
“This will boost not only the overall economic growth, but also promote the country’s exports,” he added.
The Finance Minister said that government expects an additional US$ 50 million from the World Bank to boost agricultural productivity in the country.
According to WB economic update, Rwanda complies with the 10 percent budgetary allocation towards agriculture as agreed under the AU’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), of which Rwanda was the first signatory.
Francois Nsengiyumva, the Chairman of post-harvest and storage taskforce in the Ministry of Agriculture, said this year Rwf 20 billion was earmarked for purchase of fertilisers compared to Rwf 13 billion the previous year.