Africa Talk

Rwanda: The only country in Africa enhancing finance for farmers

At the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), held in February 2022 Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, a third report on implementing Malabo Declaration was was tabled.

The 3rd Biennial Review (BR) Report captures Africa’s agricultural progress on the implementation of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. It’s not surprising at all that Rwanda, according to AU’s Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, was the only member state in all the 51 states that was on track to achieve the seven goals of Malabo Declaration.

Most important of all, AU report reviewed if all member states committed in ‘Enhancing Investment Finance in Agriculture.’ Once again, only Rwanda clinched the spot and looking closely, consistency in approach. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), agriculture was the backbone of economic growth in Rwanda.

2017 economic figures highlighted that the Rwandan agriculture sector represented around 31% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), absorbing 66% of the country’s labour force.  At the recent Rwandan round table discussions on agricultural financing schemes; bankers, government finance and insurance companies met to chart a way forward on building agricultural financing scheme for small-scale and rural agribusinesses – called RuralInvest Toolkit. 

Hodari Ngerero, RuralInvest Master Trainer, said once the project was rollout, every farmer would know how to “navigate it and be able to pitch agri projects that stand a good chance before financial institutions.” Supported by the popular decentralised and farmer-oriented agricultural extension approach Twigire Muhinzi (‘self-reliance in farming’), Rwanda has undoubtedly well informed and educated farmers. “The system focuses on developing the capacity of a critical mass of frontline extension agents and empowering farmers to make smart decisions based on experimentation, observation and analysis,” said the FAO. 

Locally, the hallmarks of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) existed but the data legitimacy was off concern. Organised agriculture, unions, banks, agribusiness, government held their own separate data with no one institution acting as a source of authority. 

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