The Government of Rwanda has embarked on robust transformation of agriculture which seeks to turn the sector into a key contributor to national economy and ensure food security.
Through the 4th Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA4), to be implemented from 2018 to 2024, the government targets a 75 per cent increase in coffee production - from 2.8 to 5 kilogram per tree - while tea yield will rise from 7 to 9 MT per hectare. 34 million stems of flowers will be exported while exported horticulture products will generally rise to 46,314 MT.
New developed crop varieties will increase to 80 from 34 currently, while 12 upgraded research stations will be established compared to 3 currently available. Area covered with radical terraces is expected to increase from 110,041 ha to 142,500 ha while irrigated farms will increase from 48,508 ha to 102,284 ha by 2024.
Officially launching the PSTA4, last month, Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente said:
"Those good strides cannot be attained without strong investments in agriculture. Therefore, the Government of Rwanda will continue to invest in agricultural research, extension, resilience, markets development, the creation of an enabling environment and responsive institutions. In this regard, costly activities will be carried out and significant resources will have to be mobilized."
Rwanda's economy expanded by 10.6% in the first quarter of 2018, where GDP at current market prices was estimated at Frw 1,985 billion, up from Frw 1,816 billion in the previous year. Agriculture grew by 8 per cent, therefore contributing 31 per cent to the GDP, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
Other key targets within PSTA4 include:
Consolidated land: From 635,603 ha to 980,000 ha
Irrigated land: From 48,508 ha to 102,284 ha.
Meat production: from 91,000 MT to 198,000 MT (+117%)
Milk production: from 776,000 MT to 1,250,000 MT (+ 61%)
Eggs production: From 7,000 Mt to 17,.000 MT (+ 143%)
Fish production: From 27,000 MT to 112,000 MT (+300%)