The World Bank has approved $ 80million US dollars of project support to Rwanda, intended for the promotion of rural development activities.
The money will be used in a five year strategic plan that will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources through the Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) third phase.
The RSSP third phase was launched on 17th September 2012 during a function which took place at Lemigo Hotel, in Kigali. The event was attended by Government officials, Ambassadors, World Bank and private investors in the agricultural sector as well as farmers who exhibited their agricultural activities and testified the impact of project.
Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, thanked all stakeholders and the World Bank for the great contribution to the country development especially in the Agricultural sector, which has benefited various farmers.
She said that the fund will impact lives of rural communities and boost the agricultural and livestock activities across the country.
A three phased RSSP project started in 2001 and was meant to be implemented in 3 phases. Phase I started in 2001 to 2008, phase II started in 2008 to 2012 earlier than expected closing time of February 2013. Phase III will be ending 2016.
Presenting the achievements of the projects, the Project Coordinator, Jolly Dusabe said that the project now in its third phase has been very effective in achieving its mandate and its targets since inception. More than 200.000 Farmers have benefited the project throughout the country and targets to benefit 100.000 beneficiaries in its third phase.
RSSP will be built on the successes of the two phases and ensure that as many farmers receive the support they need to out of poverty. The project that has USD 80 million for the third phase will focus on completing the marshland rehabilitation programs while promoting self-sufficiency in rice production.
Dusabe said that the project will also strengthen commodity value chain and support farmers to diversify their activities to ensure stable rural incomes.
The outgoing World Bank country manager, Mimi Ladipo, commended the RSSP team for the great successes and impact the project has had to farmers and the country’s rice produce to ensure they reduce the importation of rice but rather increase exports.
She added that, farmers should really focus on Value addition on their produce aiming at exportation.