Rwanda Agriculture Finance Year Book First Edition
Agriculture is essential for the Rwandan economy as it contributes to a third of the GDP. The sector employs more than two thirds of the workforce and agriculture led growth is expected to play a key role in reducing poverty and eradicating extreme poverty.
The Government of Rwanda is committed to transforming agriculture from subsistence to a productive, high value, market oriented farming sector which has an impact on other sectors. This will be achieved through several programs implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and its agencies but also with the help of the private sector, development partners and other key stakeholders.
To sustain growth, there is need for farmers to move from subsistence farming to commercial farming, which is possible when they have adequate access to financial services. Finance is needed along the whole production value chain such as purchase of quality seeds and adequate fertilizers, payment of labor, harvesting and transportation of produce as well as post-harvest handling.
However, even though access to finance is important for agriculture sector development in Rwanda, credit to the sector remains outstandingly small at only 6% of total commercial lending. This limits the sector’s growth potential.
Recognizing that the agriculture sector faces critical challenges such as access to credit and having in mind efforts by different actors both private and public, led by the Government of Rwanda, Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) and the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) Rwanda partnered to put together the Agriculture Finance book. The book, the first of its kind in Rwanda, is a great source of information on financing, innovations, challenges and learnings with regard to agriculture financing in Rwanda.
We believe the Agriculture Finance book will add great value to existing initiatives geared towards improving the agriculture sector. It is our sincere hope that the information contained in this book will particularly be useful to farmers, financial institutions and policy-makers.
We thank everyone who contributed their time and effort in one way or another, leading to the successful compilation of the book. Thank you and enjoy reading!