The Government of Rwanda (GoR) has made remarkable progress evidenced by the sustained GDP growth of 8% in the last 10 years thus establishing a track record of strong growth and macro-economy stability. Its GDP per capita stands at US$ 689 having a positive effect on poverty reduction rates from 45% to 39% over the past 5 years. Agriculture which employs ~71% of the population contributes ~33% on average to the GDP with the sector growth averaging 7% in the last five years and surpassing CAADP’s target of 6%. The sector strategy is embedded in the GoR’s Vision 2020 , the national vision and policy framework and further laid out in the 2 nd Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II 2013-2018) that delineates agriculture as a key sector and significant contributor to economic growth. EDPRS II is operationalized through the 3rd Phase of the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA III – 2013-2018) and Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (ASIP) II, which is the sector’s Investment Plan. Vision 2020, EDPRS II, PSTA III and ASIP II are all under review with the new documents expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2018. The agricultural sector investment’s contribution to the impressive economic growth and poverty reduction is commendable and needs to be sustained.
AGRA will seek to support GoR to sustain this by through working with partners and the Government to increase incentives for private sector participation and investment into the sector while also enhancing access to finance and markets; the adoption of climate smart technologies and use of inputs (seeds and fertilizer). Specifically, the Government and partners recognize that the seed system in Rwanda is under developed – with farmer-saved seed and public procurement and distribution representing the majority of seed volume –an area in which AGRA has strong comparative advantage to deliver impact.
AGRA’s strategy and support for Rwanda is aligned with GoR’s focus and will further build on AGRA’s previous investments worth US$~9M in the areas of inputs and output markets and capacity building in research. AGRA will further leverage government’s, development partners and private sector investments to contribute to sustainable food and nutritional security, and increase the incomes of rural households, and to secure national economic growth. Finally, AGRA will ensure its investments build on GOR’s strong commitment to women equity and equality and youth participation in agriculture. The specific interventions will include:
- Country Support and Policy Engagement:
- Facilitate the creation of a conducive policy environment for private sector investments in the agricultural value chains:
- Support (as appropriate) to the government on the development and roll out of PSTA IV;
- Scaling up system and farmer levels development
- Expanding market access through value addition, structured trade, quality enhancement and aggregation
- Strengthening input markets in order to enhance access and adoption of technologies (Seeds and Fertilizers).
- Enhancing access to finance
The strategy targets 360,000 SHFs over a period of 5 years for an estimated total cost of US$ 25M. By providing Country support and policy engagement AGRA will leverage government as a scaling and sustainability partner while farmer and system level intervention will be scaled through the partnership with private sector.