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Agriculture employs 70 percent of the labor force in Rwanda, and the country's solid growth record and macroeconomic stability provide a solid foundation for agricultural investment. Rwanda has committed itself to generating sustained agricultural growth, including increasing the share of the national budget allocated to agriculture from 3 percent in 2006 to 10.01 percent in 2015. Rwanda’s investments appear to be paying off, with annual agriculture growth averaging over 6 percent since 2007.
Despite the gains made, agricultural productivity remains low and the levels of chronic malnutrition remain unacceptably high at 38% percent for children under 5 years old. Through Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative, USAID is promoting inclusive agricultural growth throughout the country.
Current agricultural programs build on years of progress and accomplishment in Rwanda. USAID support seeks to increase productivity in targeted value chains such as maize, beans and dairy and other high value crops. The programs also help farmers increase access to and adoption of nutrition-sensitive agricultural technologies and to improve their capacity to manage natural resources and to adapt to climate change.
Encouraging private sector growth and competitiveness in the agriculture sector is also a USAID priority. In the staple crop, dairy and horticulture sectors, USAID's work has increased the productivity and profitability of business actors and improved the lives of rural Rwandans, providing training and equipment that helps increase the quantity, quality, and market demand of agricultural products. USAID is also supporting private sector engagement through a $24.5 million project to assist the Ministry of Agriculture to attract private investments to strengthen agricultural value chains, and provide services to businesses and build their capacity for greater investment in agriculture. To facilitate agricultural crops production’s access to market, USAID provided $50 million in funding to the World Bank to rehabilitate at least 500 km of rural feeder roads.
Last updated: November 04, 2016