News Column

Govt Reassures On Food Security

July 15, 2014

Peterson Tumwebaze

Food security situation in the country is under control despite climate change, government has said.

The reassurance follows recent media reports which indicated that some families were experiencing food shortages.

However, according to ministry officials, despite poor performance of season B of 2013, food availability for the season is still 125 percent higher than the national food needs.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that caloric output per capita currently stands at 2,515 and 3,315 per person per day, recommended by Food and Agriculture Organisation( FAO).

"Market prices today for maize, beans, Irish potatoes and other key commodities are below or at the same level they were last year," Dr Agnes Kalibata, the minister for agriculture, said in a statement released yesterday.

"All these are possible because since 2009 the ministry has focused on poverty reduction whose production indicators are much higher than food needs."

Climate change effect

Last season, the sector was hit hard by drought, affecting parts of Southern and Eastern provinces and other parts of the country.

Low productivity affected the economic performance of the country, with just 4.6 per cent GDP growth for the sector registered during 2013.

Efforts to increase productivity are ongoing, according to Innocent Musabyimana, the deputy director in charge of agricultural extension programmes at the Rwanda Agricultural Board.

"The Board is concentrating on increased irrigation mechanisms, land consolidation and fertiliser applications to scale up production thus keeping the country's food security situation under control," Musabyimana said.

We have also put in place climate change mitigation measures at national and household level, including putting in place enough strategic reserves to support families in case the need arises anywhere around the country, Musabyimana added.

According to the ministry, it is plausible to say that the measures Rwanda has put in place are sufficient to mitigate any impact that climate change might have had last season.

According to the National Institute of Statistics if Rwanda (NISR) report of the first quarter 2014, agriculture sector grew by 5 per cent and contributed 1.7 percentage points to GDP growth.

The government is banking on the sector for job creation, food security and export production.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: AllAfrica

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters