DRC – In a development aimed at harnessing its agricultural potential, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has unveiled a comprehensive strategy for the transformation and development of its agricultural sector over the next six years, covering the period from 2024 to 2030.

The strategic announcement was made by Prime Minister Sama Lukonde during the 2023 “DRC Agribusiness Forum” held in Kinshasa on October 4 and 5, 2023.

The newly revealed roadmap is structured around four pivotal pillars which encompass strengthening farmer productivity, developing energy and transport infrastructure, improving the governance framework for the agricultural sector, and strengthening human capital through training and education.

According to Nicolas Kazadi, Minister of Finance, the effective implementation of this plan requires the completion of certain actions.

 The actions included improving access to financing, establishing a framework favourable to investments, training all players in the sector or improving access to transport and energy infrastructure.

“We are laying the first stones of a global framework favourable to the development of the agricultural sector which we know is necessary,”  José Mpanda, Minister of Agriculture said.

“These stones will serve as a basis for implementing our commitments for 2024, the year of agriculture, and the next 10 years. We have the responsibility to give the agricultural sector the importance it deserves in our economy and our society.”

According to FAO data, agriculture plays a crucial role in the DRC’s economy, contributing 20% to its GDP and employing approximately 70% of the active population.

Despite having nearly 80 million hectares of arable land and 4 million hectares of irrigable land, the country currently exploits only 1% of this vast agricultural potential.

The DRC government’s commitment to the transformation of the agricultural sector underscored its determination to increase productivity and improve the livelihoods of millions of Congolese people who rely on agriculture for their living.

While specific details of the strategy have not been disclosed, it is expected to emphasize modernization, the introduction of advanced farming technologies, improved market access, and the provision of training and resources to enhance agricultural productivity.

Recently, DRC’s agricultural sector has faced numerous challenges in the past, including limited access to modern farming tools, inadequate access to markets, and the impact of ongoing conflicts in some regions.

The new strategy represented a significant step towards overcoming these challenges and driving agricultural growth.

The unveiling of this strategy took place during the 2023 “DRC Agribusiness Forum,” a crucial platform that brings together stakeholders in the country’s agricultural sector.

The forum provided an opportunity for farmers, investors, government officials, and other stakeholders to discuss the future of agriculture in the DRC and explore ways to improve the sector.