The African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency (NPCA) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have collaborated to support and oversee planning for agriculture development programmes in Africa
The African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency (NPCA) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have collaborated to support and oversee planning for agriculture development programmes in Africa.
As partners in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), AUC, NPCA and RECs representatives visited the Rwanda Development Board for a Planning and Coordination meeting, in order to inspect the reforms the government has introduced to improve the African country’s business strategies within its agriculture sector.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) illustrated progress made in agriculture-led industrialisation, agribusiness development, and economic transformation.
The representatives also visited an RDB private partner company, Africa Improved Foods Rwanda Ltd in Kigali, to see how nutrition in the food consumed by Rwanda’s population has been improved, along with farmers’ working, living and financial conditions.
In a public-private partnership with the Rwandan government, the company’s objective is to tackle malnutrition and stunting in the country and wider East African region.
They achieve this by producing high-quality nutritious foods, made from produce locally-sourced from smallholder farmers.
It has committed to improving the health of the communities in which it operates, as well as striving to have a positive environmental, economic and social impact in the local area.
The company partners with around 9000 smallholder farmers and has created 230 new jobs at its plant within its first year of operation.
It receives grains from farmers immediately after harvest, then the drying process takes place at the plant to prevent aflatoxin and other contamination, in order to reduce post-harvest loss.
The partnership between the company and Rwandan government was implemented following the publication of figures saying that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life were crucial for their future development, with adequate nutrition and high quality complementary foods essential for normal physical and cognitive growth.
AUC’s Agribusiness Advisor, Mark Fynn, said that the initiative resonated with much of the work undertaken by the CAADP, which also addresses nutrition, job creation, value addition and market access in relation to agro-processing.
Delegates at the meeting also reviewed the 2017-2021 African Union Malabo Business Plan, which supports operations to transform and modernise Africa’s agriculture sector at national level, and agreed on 2018 priorities for strategy implementation.
Prosper Ndayiragije, Africa Improved Foods Rwanda Limited’s Country Manager, said: “We produce the Nootri range of products, a set of porridge flours for complementing the dietary needs of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, as well as older infants above six months.
“The products are enriched with relevant vitamins and minerals required for the healthy growth of children.
“In addition, the products are produced from locally grown mixed grains of soy, maize and sorghum.”