STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE IN RWANDA TO IFAD
The President of IFAD Distinguished Governors
Your Excellences, Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my privilege and great honour to be invited to the 39th IFAD Governing Council representing my country Rwanda. I bring you warm greetings from the people and the Government of Rwanda in general and in particular from our President His Excellency Paul Kagame who is still grateful to have been invited to this august assembly in which he delivered a key note speech at the 35th session in February 2012.
The theme for the conference, Inclusive investment- Rural farmers, state and business beyond
2015 agenda is very relevant to the current development focus of the food and agriculture sector of many developing and emerging economies. In the Rwandan context it ties in neatly with our Vision 2020 and its offshoots of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (EDPRSII) as well as the Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture III (SP ATIII) whose main objective is to reduce poverty and increase the wellbeing of the population and especially the rural poor through modernization and commercialization of agriculture.
Mme/Mr Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to IFAD for having played a key role in our agricultural development efforts. IFAD started operations in Rwanda in 1981 and to date has funded 15 projects worth about $ 425 million some of these funds are grants while others are highly concessional loans.
During the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, IFAD, like any other development partners, suspended its operations in the country but it is on record that it was the first development partner to resume soon after peace was restored in 1995 with a project whose objective was to support the rehabilitation of the country and assistance to refugees. The four other projects that were already on going were also resumed as soon as necessary arrangements were put in place. We are very grateful for this.
Time is now opportune to adopt inclusive investment where all stakeholders in value chains are involved. This can be done by investing in areas such as (i) agricultural technology and its application to improve productivity; (ii) infrastructure that will provide better access to markets and enhance small scale industries; (iii) rural finance and (iv) strengthened institutions to improve support services to smallholder farmers especially those that mitigate effects of climate change and also to improved policy dialogue.
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD has carried out two country performance evaluations, one in 2005 and the most current in 2010 all of whose findings have shown satisfactory performance of its portfolio.
The 2010 evaluation found that the partnership between IFAD and The Government of
Rwanda had made a significant contribution to reducing rural poverty,
and that the performance of the portfolio has improved since the CPE of 2005. On IFAD's part, contributing factors include a more participatory approach and transition to direct supervision, while, on the part of the Government, they include the introduction of clearly-defined strategies and programs as well as a strong accountability framework. Rwanda's governance culture is highly results-oriented, thereby, ensuring that policies and strategies are implemented.
Currently, there are three ongoing IFAD funded projects in Rwanda under one umbrella known as Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) and one of them abbreviated as KWAMP has won 2 trophies for the best fiduciary management and one for gender equality and women empowerment.
In fact, the Rwanda SPIU fiduciary management has been highly rated by IFAD since 2010 and improving over the years with a score of 4.10 in 2015, being the highest within the ESA region. This has been attributed to having an experienced and continuing team without the "start-stop" project cycle.
There is a new project which is still under the design stage, and I am happy to report that this is the first IFAD project that deals solely with livestock, other interventionshave been related to crop production, processing and marketing, rural finance as well as natural resource management.
Mme I Mr. Chairpeson, Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by thanking IFAD for its continued support to Rwanda and hope that our partnership shall result in achieving our ultimate goal of reducing poverty and increasing smallholder farmers' incomes.
Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana
Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources