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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

World Bank injects More Funds in Roads, Agriculture Sectors

Road infrastructure and agricultural productivity could be boosted as the World Bank approved yet another $60.9 million (about Rwf47 billion) for the sector.

The funds, agreed upon in Washington, US, recently, will help government refurbish roads and intensify farmers’ agricultural productivity as part of the strategy to reduce poverty and enhance shared prosperity throughout the country, according to Caroyn Turk, the Bank’s country manager.

“Today’s financing provides additional support to the already existing government’s efforts to improve and diversify the country’s agriculture sector and infrastructure as a key strategy to fight poverty by ensuring food security, and improved healthcare,” Turk said

Some $45m (about Rwf30bn) will be injected in upgrading about 270 kilometres of roads in Karongi, Rwamagana, Gisagara and Nyamasheke districts in Western Province, Tesfamichael Nahusenay Mitiku, the Bank’s team leader for the Feeder Road Development Project, said.

“Insufficient all-season road connectivity has contributed to high transport costs and created difficulties for farmers seeking to improve their agricultural productivity and incomes,” Nahusenay said.

Finanance and Economic Planning minister Claver Gatete said the funding is in line with the country’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) agenda of promoting rural development and agriculture transformation with significant impact on poverty reduction.

Valens Mwumvaneza, the Bank’s team leader for Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP), said $15.9 million (about Rwf10 billion) will be injected in the third RSSP that focuses on activities that would increase and diversify agriculture production.

This will contribute to government’s achievements of EDPRS2 by boosting productivity for some of the country’s poorest farmers and benefit about 101,500 farmers by 2018. Recently, World Bank and government signed an Rwf47 billion deal for social protection programmes.

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