More than 125,000 vulnerable households in Rwanda, particularly those headed by women and young people, are set to benefit from a $39.8-million United Nations loan and grant accord signed today to increase the volume and improve the quality of coffee, tea, silk and horticulture production.
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.
With this new project IFAD, which is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, will have financed 14 programmes in Rwanda since 1981 for a total investment of $189.8 million, benefiting an estimated 500,000 households.