Thursday, January 19, 2012

Private sector urged to invest in Agriculture - The New Times, 19.01.2012

The Minister of Agriculture (Minagri), Dr Agnes Kalibata, has called on the business community to invest in agri-businesses. She was addressing journalists yesterday at the ministry’s headquarters in Kacyiru, Gasabo District. 

“The current involvement of the private sector in agro-business activities is still very low and I think it’s imperative for them to aggressively exploit this industry because it is profitable; it will also help promote food security in the country,” Kalibata said. She observed that if more businesses got involved in various agric-business activities, it would make Rwanda a major food-exporting country, thus turning the economy around. 

The minister said that currently, a big percentage of those involved in agricultural activities are subsistence small-scale farmers. The ministry has put in place various mechanisms aimed at mobilising the private sector to come on board to venture into the sector, she explained. Kalibata said the ministry was always at the disposal of people who need guidance on which area to invest in, as well as for support, including facilitating prospective investors to acquire loans.

She said that, this year, the ministry plans to step up irrigation programmes, especially in the Eastern Province, to help increase production volumes, adding that it was yet another opportunity for the private sector. The ministry will also continue to construct terraces on the hilly terrains to control soil erosion, she added. 

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