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Rwanda launches agriculture program to enhance food security

Staff Writer |
Rwanda unveiled a six-year agriculture strategic plan that seeks to support the country's efforts to achieve food and nutrition security.

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The country will focus more on investing in expanded agricultural research, ensuring farmers access to the market economy and improved infrastructure, implementing sustainable agriculture, and improving food security, said Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwandan minister of agriculture and animal resources in Rwandan capital city Kigali.

The plan, named as the 4th Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA4), will seek to achieve a growth rate of the agriculture sector at an average of 10 percent annually between 2018 and 2024 and the creation of 214,000 off-farm jobs during the same period, she said.

This plan is a mid-term implementation framework to operationalize the national agriculture policies with an aim to transform the country's agriculture sector into a high value sector in order to improve the national economy and food security, according to the ministry of agriculture and animal resources.

Rwanda's agricultural export revenues amounted to over 304.6 million U.S. dollars from January to September 2017, increasing from over 232 million dollars earned in the same period in 2016, according to figures from the National Agriculture Exports Development Board.

The country's annual growth rate of agriculture sector increased to 7 percent in 2017 from 4 percent in the previous year, government data showed.

The small central African country plans to boost agriculture production by scaling up land for crop production from the current 635,603 hectares to 980,000 hectares in 2024 while irrigated land surface will increase from the current 48,508 hectares to 102,284 hectares by 2024, the ministry said.

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