Today the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development launched the Agriculture Land Information System an internet connection that is expected to boast agri-business in Rwanda.
The agriculture connection to IT intends to mainly connect agriculture land to online markets so as to help investors disseminate information on arable -land business.
The launch of the new agriculture land IT took place at Hotel Mille Collines where the Minister of State for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Fulgence Nsengiyumva and the US Ambassador Erica J.Barks-Ruggles noted that the new IT website is expected to attract more investments in the country.
The websites will rather quicken the availability of land information in that sector to investors both private and public.
“Our hope is that the Agriculture Land Information System will increase private investment in agriculture. The U.S. Government is proud to be a partner in this success,” said Barks-Ruggles.
Under the new initiative to extend the land to investors, over 24000 hectors of public land will be auctioned on the online market website for private investors to lease.
USAID to contemplate in the new initiative that intends to promote a Private Sector Driven Agriculture provided an estimated Rwf 50 million for the development of the information system.
The system will draw a spectrum of the all land information including soil type, land suitability, current land use, proximity to roads and waters sources and spread the agro-climatic conditions.
The IT will interactively integrate online databases like that of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), of the Ministry of Infrastructure (MINIFRA) and that of the national institute of statistics (NISR).
“Interested investors will be able to see the suitability of desired land on an international online website, and other physical properties. Investors can also assess selling their products on the website,’’ he said.
The information will help in the prioritizing, planning and budgeting for profitable public-private partnerships.
The importance of the agricultural sector to the growth and development of Rwandan’s economy manifests in many ways-it contributes to about 33% of the Gross Domestic Product and employs over 70% of Rwanda’s population.
Agriculture has over the last two decades displayed remarkable improvements in poverty reduction dropping from 44.9% in 2010-11 in to 39.1% in 2013-14.
Ambassador Barks-Ruggles noted that next ALIS phase is planned for 2017 and will include privately owned agricultural land.
“We look forward to keep building on the existing partnership to make the second phase more successful,” she said at the launch of the ALIS.
To keep momentum of this growth more private sector involvement in the sector is needed which prompts such initiatives that fasten access to agricultural resources including land, market and agri-product and businesses.