The government of Japan yesterday allocated 300 million Yen (Approx. Rwf 1.7b) grant to Rwanda to help in promoting Food Security Projects for underprivileged farmers.
Both the Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Rosemary Museminali and the Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda Shigeo Iwatani signed the pact.
Minister Museminali told Journalists the money would be used to purchase fertilizers which will be supplied to farmers. She revealed that the Ministries of Local Government and Agriculture will shortlist the beneficiaries soon.
“The grant is crucial to the country since it has come at a time when the agricultural production went up by 15 percent in 2008. We expect this grant to make a positive impact on the lives of our farmers,” Museminali said.
The minister revealed that several developmental projects in the country like road construction, educational support and the Rusumo Bridge, are among those funded by Japan.
Peter Muvara, who represented the agriculture minister and is also chairman of Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority, said the funds will used properly.
The grant to Rwanda is honouring Japan’s pledge during the fourth International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Summit held last year in Japan to assist in developing the agricultural sector across Africa.
In his speech, Ambassador Iwatani emphasised the growing cooperation between the two countries and said that he believes that Rwanda will effectively use the funds.
Iwatani also called for ownership and effectiveness of the grant.
When asked the nature of the grant, Iwatani stressed that “it is has no strings attached.”
He, however, pointed out that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will facilitate the process of receiving and disbursing the grant on behalf of their government.