Prime Minister outlines Rwanda achievements in agricultural sector

The government has invested in increasing agro-infrastructure. 326 drying grounds were built in all districts.

The government has invested in increasing agro-infrastructure. 326 drying grounds were built in all districts.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi presented to a joint session of parliament the country’s achievements in the agriculture sector over the last five years.

Among the key highlights, the Premier told lawmakers that the sector has seen remarkable development from a tremendous increase in the productivity, to successful diversification of crops, to a boost in investments in the sector.

The value of agricultural productivity rose from 1,084 billion Frw in 2010 to 1,785 billion Frw in 2014, an increase of 65 per cent.

This was a result of different government programmes including radical and progressive terracing, land use consolidation, marshland and hillside irrigation as well as crop diversification.

On agriculture mechanisation, Murekezi said that the use of machines in agricultural activities increased from five percent in 2010 to 15 per cent this year, while irrigated space increased from 13,000 hectares to 35,560 hectares in the same period.

The government targets to have 25 per cent of all farm operations mechanised in the next seven years.

“To reduced post-harvest losses, the government has invested in increasing agro-infrastructure. 326 drying grounds were built in all districts,” Premier Murekezi said.

Milk production saw a rise of 89 per cent from 372,619 tons in 2010 to 706,030 tons in 2015.

“As of now, One Cow per Family Programmes has reached 222,539 families out of the targeted 350,000 by 2017. This helps in eradicating malnutrition nationwide. 84,702 school pupils freely drink milk in 112 schools countrywide,” he noted.

In regards to boosting exports, coffee plantations increased from 35,000 hectares in 2010 to 55,000 hectares in 2014; while tea plantations rose from 18,900 hectares to 25,500 hectares. As of today, the country counts 15 Tea factories.

Published in September this year, the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4) pointed out that 72 per cent of the Rwandan population are farmers.

The rest of population also depends on the country’s agricultural products for consumption.

The government has decided to increase the budget allocated to agriculture from 90 billion Frw in 2013/14 fiscal year, to 102 billion Frw in 2015/16 fiscal year.

Reacting to the updates, Members of Parliament lauded the country’s achievements in the sector and called on the government to help ease farmers’ access to finances to make the sector more profitable.

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