The Democratic Republic of Congo aims to invest $6.6 billion over 10 years in the Agricultural Transformation Program (PTA) to fulfill its commitment to become the breadbasket of Africa. The announcement was made during the “DRC Agribusiness Forum”, held on 4 and 5 October 2023 in Kinshasa.
This investment demonstrates Congolese President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi’s commitment to developing the country’s agricultural potential and reducing the economy’s dependence on the mining sector.
“With 80 million hectares of arable land, 4 million hectares of irrigated land, a diverse climate that allows year-round agriculture, possesses 7 to 8% of the world’s exploitable freshwater and about 125 million hectares of grassland with enough territory for 40 million heads of cattle, along with the size of the population, especially young people and women. The Democratic Republic of Congo certainly has enough capacity to become the breadbasket of Africa; the center of the continent’s agricultural industry and is a prosperous nursery. “, declared Solomane Koné, Deputy Director General of the African Development Bank for Central Africa and Country Director of the DRC.
The Forum is organized at the initiative of the DRC government with the support of the Bank African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation, aim to stimulate private sector investment in the agricultural value chain and stimulate the agricultural sector in this agriculturally resource-rich Central African country. . The opening ceremony was chaired by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde.
More than 700 people from 28 countries participated, including government officials, representatives of technical and financial partners, heads of public and private companies, investors and actors in the agricultural sector.
During the event, the Democratic Republic of the Congo presented the National Agreement on Food and Agriculture (https:
//apo-opa.info/46I0Bwg), signed during the Food Sovereignty Summit and Resilience held in January 2023 in Dakar. The Treaty is a product of the PTA.
Serge N’Guessan, Executive Director of the African Development Bank for Central Africa, said that at the request of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the African Development Bank will dedicate the country’s entire available allocation This period is for the period 2023-2025 of the African Development Fund (ADF)-16 cycle is devoted to activities supporting the Agricultural Transformation Program, which is the backbone of the Bank’s country strategy document for DRC for the next five years.
The Bank delegation led by Mr. N’Guessan included senior officials and a number of executives from various intervention sectors. Experts enriched the discussions on the participation of the private sector as well as technical and financial partners to give new impetus to the agri-food sector in DRC.
Other topics include sustainable and resilient agricultural approaches, operational challenges to improve agricultural sector resilience, financing the agricultural value chain, potential of the cassava industry, strengthening the agricultural industry and the role of public-private partnerships and energy and transportation infrastructure for agricultural development.
Five main recommendations were made for developing agricultural value chains:
- Adopt a sectoral and project-based approach, with real support from government (tax and administrative facilities, availability of basic socio-economic and energy infrastructure, etc.) for the revival of the agricultural sector.
- Limit all charges, fees and taxes to a maximum of 25% of value for production and export activities.
- Set up a sovereign wealth fund to support agriculture and agriculture hubs to support and advise small agricultural investors.
- Strengthen the capacities and roles of decentralized territorial entities in the governance of the agricultural sector, ownership and effective application of the value-chains approach and sustainable agriculture, risk guarantee and mitigation mechanisms and access to finance.
- Harmonize the regulatory framework for Special Economic Areas (ZES), Law on Basic Principles for Agriculture, Law on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
The DR Congo Government reaffirmed its commitment to making agricultural transformation a key driver of development in the country, particularly through the necessary reforms and the establishment of a taskforce bringing together a number of ministerial departments and stakeholders to monitor implementation of the Forum’s recommendations.