The Now Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri has recently requested President Paul Kagame that the budget allocated to agriculture and livestock be increased to 10% of the national budget.
On February 27, 2023, when he gave a speech at the 18th National Umushyikirano, Dr Musafiri pointed out that measures are being taken to ensure that Rwandans have access to enough food.
Rwanda is one of the countries that ratified the Malabo Agreement, which was approved by the heads of state and government of the African Union in 2014.
In that agreement, the leaders decided to increase the budget allocated to agriculture to at least 10% of the country’s budget.
Rwanda is trying, although the budget invested in agriculture has not yet reached 10%. In the past it was around 8%.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda’s Budget for 2022/2023 exceeds 4,658 billion Frw, including funds intended to accelerate the growth of the economy, especially in increasing the production of agriculture and livestock.
Dr. Musafiri said that until now, the credit given to agriculture is at 5%. The situation makes the farmers lack enough capital to be able to do their farming.
He said, “Credit to agriculture has increased below 5%. No one wants to give money to farmers and it is a sector that owns many Rwandans.
“So now we want as the government to show that agricultural loans are possible, we have come up with a cheap loan of 8%, so that other banks can support us.”
He said that if Rwanda puts the budget in agriculture, it would help to increase production and make all Rwandans satisfied with food.
He said, “We believe that the rich people of tomorrow will come out of agriculture, the main reason why it will be possible is that the educated youth are involved.”
He continued saying, “What we are asking to be added on the part of the government, is for schools […] we want these schools of practical science to include agricultural departments.”
Dr Musafiri says that if there is an increase in the budget allocated to agriculture, there will be no more excuses for the institutions in charge of this sector.
He said, “As a government, we would plan to put more money into agriculture because that’s where the people are, that’s where the Rwandans are […] give us 10%, the rest you ask us.”
Statistics from the population and housing census show that most Rwandans work in agriculture at the rate of 53.4%