The Parliament Recommends Synergy in Agriculture Sector

|   Chamber Of Deputies

The Inquiry Committee set up to investigate bottlenecks identified in the agriculture sector tabled its report on 5 August 2019 before the Plenary Assembly of the Chamber of Deputies which took many recommendations directed to different public institutions.

The Premier was recommended to revamp the operational framework between the Ministry for Agriculture, affiliated institutions and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

To the Ministry for Agriculture, it was recommended that adequate measures be taken against those responsible for the poor performance of the following projects: PRICE, PAIGELAC, and KWAMP.

Equally important, MPs want the Ministry for Trade and Industry to deal with staff of the Rwanda Cooperative Authority (RCA) who were in charge of inspection of Cooperative societies COTHEMUKI, COTHEGA, COTHEGAB, COEPROMU, and KIDAFACO because they were characterized by poor performance and dishonesty while discharging their duties, which led to the bankruptcy of the said cooperatives.

Other recommendations were directed to the Ministry for finance and economic planning and the Ministry for Local Governance.

Addressing the Plenary Assembly, Hon. Ngabitsinze Jean Chrysostome who led the Inquiry Committee said that during its field tours, it was established that despite apparent achievements in the agriculture sector, several lingering challenges are still impeding government projects meant to improve community welfare through agriculture.

Key challenges identified by the Inquiry Committee include poor cooperation between main stakeholders in the sector such as the Ministry of Agriculture; Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) and other Ministries directly or indirectly involved. There is also an issue of planning which leaves local stakeholders out of the process, hence failure on part local administration to own agriculture projects locally implemented, leading to the poor outcome of the said projects.

The Committee further identified a gap in the value chain, i.e. there is no clear link from farming activities, through agro-processing up to the marketing of products.

It was also found out that the level of research in agriculture is still low, going hand in hand with deficient budget allocation. As a result, farmers both hardly get pedigreed seeds and know crops to match soil types.

The Inquiry Committee was established on 03/04/2019 with a mission to dig deeper into the challenges identified in the agriculture sector in Rwanda after the Minister for Agriculture has been summoned to provide oral and written explications over the matter and failed to convince MPs.

The main objectives of the Committee was to investigate reasons why there was a gap in cooperation between organs in charge of agriculture and farmers, hence failing projects in this sector; analyze efficiency of research carried out and to which extent its findings impact farming sector; find out why irrigation on hillside has not yielded expected results; find out how best wetlands are used to increase agriculture production, and finally investigate issues surrounding operation of milk collection centers.