Hurdles in accessing loan and high interest rates are among issues hampering agriculture in Africa yet between 60% and 70% of Africans depend on this sector. Only 50% of Africans can receive bank loans to support agricultural projects.
As Rwanda is hosting the International Conference on Best Practices in Rural and Agriculture Finance from 1st to 3rd August, 2016 , the CEO of Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) Alex Kanyankore has revealed to the press a plan of increasing loan supporting agriculture.
“BRD released more than Rwf 40 billion to support agriculture and animal husbandry sectors and targets to add more Rwf 80 billion to existing support from 2016 to 2020,”he said.
Kanyankole explained that governments, international organizations and National Banks, Commercial banks and non-governmental organizations need collaboration to implement requirements for the promotion of agriculture.
Today 98% of Rwandans access financial services but only 6% of bank loans are allocated to agriculture.
Experts attending the International Conference on Best Practices in Rural and Agriculture Finance say that many Africans survive on agriculture but investment and loan delivery in this sector is still low.
The secretary of the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association
(AFRACA), Saleh Usman Gashua said that the role of agriculture in development doesn’t match efforts put in it and stressed the need for reforms.
“Agriculture earns between 20 and 30 % of national economy. Between 60 and 70% of African population are involved in agriculture .However the most exciting is that statistics from African Bank of Development indicate that only under 5% farmers can access financial services and banks,” he said.
The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. mukeshimana Geraldine said that the government of Rwanda has supported agriculture through BRD and BDF adding that it is partnering with AfDB to establish proper measures of supporting agriculture.
“The support will be observed in a way demonstrating clearly insurance issues, the way of reducing interest loan and according a structure where only a half of the support will paid back so that an individual can prefer the easiest facility among these choices ,” she said.
Dr. Mukeshimana explained that Rwanda wants to implement sustainable structure of supporting farmers since the country targets professional agriculture other than farming for survival.
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