Sunday, 21 April 2013

Zambians learning from Rwanda’s agricultural progress

A team of Zambian Members of Parliament are in the country to learn the best practices and achievements made by Rwanda in the agricultural sector.
The Zambian team came to visit Rwanda to have seven days study from the 14th to 20th of April, 2013. Some of the key activities in agriculture include: the Girinka program, the Crop Intensification Program, and Rwanda’s achievements so far within the sector.
The Zambian Members of Parliament included Honorables: Antonio Carlos Jose (Chairperson), Mundia Ndalame, Raymond Mpundu, Annie Munshya Chungu, January Samson Zimba, and Munji Habeeru.
The team met the Agriculture Minister Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Director General of Planning Raphael Rurangwa, and Deputy Director General of Export Operations & Market Development at National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB), Dr. Ndambe Nzaramba.
The Zambians were hopeful to learn about Rwanda’s successful progress within the agricultural sector to help their own farmers in Zambia and more interested in the concepts of adding value to smallholder farmers, the operations of institutional and governmental systems, input support systems for farmers, exports and agro-processing, and cross-cutting issues between overlapping sectors.
Kalibata stated that Rwanda has come a long way since 2007, when the goal of pulling 1 million people out of poverty was made by shifting the government’s role as a direct provider and investor to the government as a facilitator.
She also said that issues that have contributed to the progress of Rwanda, include: changes in institutional and governmental systems in Rwanda, finding answers from home grown solutions (annual National Dialogue), open relationship with development partners, capacity building and prioritizing crops for farmers in each region.
“Our leadership systems have been highly successful to our growth, mainly because our government is performance-based. We have 5-year national strategies that are broken down into 1-year deliverables, both at the Ministry level and the local government levels. It keeps everyone highly accountable, both to the government and to the population,” Minister Kalibata stated.
The meeting agreed that there is a lot that the Zambian Parliament and MINAGRI will look forward to working closely together and share experiences; especially the activities and morals underlining sustainability for smallholder farmers through a number of activities that add value across all levels of the economy.


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