Experts discuss land governance to increase agricultural investments: Africa

Representatives of farmers and civil society organizations, providers of small, low-interest loans and Rwandan government officials met on Tuesday in Kigali to discuss how to mainstream land governance in agricultural strategies and plans

Land in Africa has become the most secure asset for those with spare funds to invest. With its growing population, Rwanda, like many other countries on the continent, has also attracted more and more property developers to build thousands of houses, and thus meet its urban housing challenges.

Under the Agricultural Land Use Consolidation Model, a policy implemented in 2008, the Government of Rwanda has also sought to increase agricultural land and intensify its production. According to government statistics, agricultural land increased from 28,016 Ha in 2008 to 502,916 Ha in 2011.

Representatives of farmers and civil society organizations, providers of small, low-interest loans and Rwandan government officials met on Tuesday in Kigali to discuss how to mainstream land governance in agricultural strategies and plans.

The other countries of the initiative are: Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi and Tanzania

The meeting was organized by the Land Policy Initiative – a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) – in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Rwandan government.

Participants discussed the project to mainstream land policy and governance into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), a continent-wide project that aims to strengthen inter-institutional collaboration on programs land reform, securing land rights, providing equal access to land, and promoting responsible agricultural investments to advance agricultural and rural transformation.

According to LPI, Rwanda was chosen as one of the six pilot countries to implement CAADP because it provides an excellent example of how land governance issues can be addressed. The other countries in the initiative are: Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi and Tanzania.

“By conceptualizing an agricultural program focused on securing land rights and consolidating land use, Rwanda has not only improved agricultural productivity, but also harnessed economies of scale and improved market access and revenue,” said Andrew Mold, acting director. of ECA in East Africa.

The CAADP project is expected to raise awareness and build the capacity of African countries to better address land governance concerns and support agricultural investment plans.

Gregory M. Roy