Rwandans set to benefit from UN farm loans and grants
Rwandans set to benefit from UN farm loans and grants
29 September 2011
The agreements for the Project for Rural Income through Exports (PRICE) and Support Project for the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA) were signed by Finance Minister John Rwangombwa and UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Vice-President Yukiko Omura in Kigali, capital of the small African country, where agriculture employs more than 70 per cent of the population of 11 million.
“With its focus on enabling smallholder farmers and vulnerable groups to participate in export value chains for coffee, tea, silk and horticulture, PRICE is a flagship project in terms of public-private partnership,” Mr. Omura said.
The Government and IFAD will work with project beneficiaries and the private sector to boost the potential of the agriculture sector, which currently accounts for 32 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), on the path from subsistence agriculture to market-based farming.
The project will support 170 farmers’ cooperatives nationwide, and will push for a high share of the export price to reach the smallholder producers.
US$39.8 million from IFAD to boost agriculture in Rwanda
Rome-Kigali, 29 September 2011
A US$39.8 million loan and grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Republic of Rwanda will help to improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder producers and increase economic growth in partnership with private operators, the UN rural poverty agency has announced.
The loan and grant agreements for the Project for Rural Income through Exports (PRICE) and the Support Project for the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA) were signed today in Kigali by John Rwangombwa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Rwanda, and Yukiko Omura, Vice-President of IFAD.
Agriculture is a significant driver of Rwanda’s economy. Agriculture accounts for 32 per cent of the GDP and employs more than 70 per cent of the country’s population. But Rwandan agriculture is still very fragile. Rough terrain, erosion and climatic hazards combined with the lack of modern technology create serious constraints to agricultural development.
Through PRICE and a supplementary grant for the ongoing PAPSTA project, the Government of Rwanda and IFAD will work with the project beneficiaries and the private sector to boost the potential of the agriculture sector to move from subsistence agriculture to market-based farming.
“With its focus on enabling smallholder farmers and vulnerable groups to participate in export value chains for coffee, tea, silk and horticulture, PRICE is a flagship project in terms of public-private partnership,” said Yukiko Omura.
PRICE aims to promote sustainable increased returns to smallholder farmers from the coffee, tea, silk and horticulture value chains by helping farmers to increase the volume and improve the quality of production. The project will support 170 farmers’ cooperatives nationwide, and will push for a high share of the export price to reach the smallholder producers. More than 125,000 vulnerable households, particularly households headed by women and young people, will benefit from PRICE.
Newly available funding for PAPSTA, which works in the six districts of Bugesera, Kirehe, Gakenke, Ngororero, Nyamagabe and Nyanza, will help to continue rehabilitating an additional 150 hectares of marshland for rice production. The project will also increase its activities in the areas of agricultural strategy formulation, soil and water conservation and marketing support structures.
With this new Project for Rural Income through Exports, IFAD will have financed 14 programmes and projects in Rwanda for a total investment of US$189.8 million benefiting 500,000 households.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The Conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. The conference resolved that “an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries”. One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production, but structural problems relating to poverty and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.
IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest people – 1.4 billion women, children and men – live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples’ access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
IFAD’s mission is to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty.
* Official website: http://www.ifad.org/
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