Investing in agriculture will pay innumerable dividends

As the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning presented the national budget for the fiscal year 2011/12, yesterday, it became evident that the main focus was on agriculture to help consolidate the country’s food security. The budget, which hit the one trillion franc mark for the first time, was read under the theme; “Ensuring food Security and price stability whilst maintaining sustainable growth.”

As the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning presented the national budget for the fiscal year 2011/12, yesterday, it became evident that the main focus was on agriculture to help consolidate the country’s food security.

The budget, which hit the one trillion franc mark for the first time, was read under the theme; “Ensuring food Security and price stability whilst maintaining sustainable growth.”

Consequently, the new budget allocates Rwf67bn to the agriculture sector from Rwf64bn in the previous Budget.

The government, in setting priorities, again looked at what is essential in uplifting the population in its entirety and there is nothing more befitting than prioritising agriculture, on which close to 90% of the citizens depend.

After achieving food security in the just concluded fiscal year, there is need to consolidate the progress, and empower the Rwandan farmer to strive to achieve more than food security and produce surplus for export.

Government initiatives that have already taken root, like crop intensification and irrigation, will be catered for in the new budget, which will inevitably pay off and like the minister said, over reliance on rain has in the past, cost the Rwandan farmer dearly.

The ball is now in the court of the farmers to make use of this investment and other frameworks, like the country’s membership of various regional and international economic blocs, to acquire prosperity.

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