|Rwanda - EU Cooperation|
Rwanda and EU sign â‚¬200 million grant to support Agriculture
The Government of Rwanda and the European Union (EU) today signed â‚¬200 million (RWF 173 billion) budget support agreement to fund the ongoing transformation in agriculture sector. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete and EU Ambassador Michael Ryan signed and exchanged documents as Agriculture Minister Gerardine Mukeshimana looked on.
The grant will support government programmes to improve nutrition among rural communities, expand the number of food-secure households, make farmers more efficient in cropping patterns and land use, and extend the irrigation network to cover more households. It will also help spread agro-forestry in hilly and terraced areas, target job opportunities among export-oriented agricultural producers and processors, and provide suitable loans to farmers and cooperatives.Â Support to improving public financial management capacities in agriculture is to be provided by the EU grant â€śRwanda has taken bold steps to transform the Agriculture sector. This support will contribute to the ongoing transformational efforts in the sector by improving farming methods, increasing food security and creating jobs,â€ť Minister Gatete said.
Ambassador Michael Ryan welcomed the historic signature:Â "One third of Rwanda's GDP comes from agriculture.Â This is a vital sector for 80% of Rwandans earning a living from farming, but also for businesses and innovative entrepreneurs who add to exports and production, and thus boost jobs and farm incomes, and foster a thriving agricultural industry.Â This is the biggest grant ever provided to Rwanda by the EU.Â It will support what the government has set out as its vision to stimulate farming and agro-business, and to improve the lives of Rwandans."
The â‚¬200 million grant is part of the 11th European Development Fund/National Indicative Program signed in September, 2014, by European Commission and Rwanda in Brussels with an envelope of â‚¬ 460 million which runs from 2015-2020. EU support to Rwanda focuses on agriculture, energy and decentralization and governance. It also provides support to the Public Financial Management basket fund.