KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Rwanda, which has become heavily dependent on
wheat imports for domestic demand, aims to cut importations of
the crop by allocating more land for farming.
The small central
African country is targeting to put 95,000 hectares under wheat
farming by 2019, in order to boost local production of the crop
which has declined over the years.
reporters on Tuesday, Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, director general of
Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) said that allocating more land
for wheat production would dramatically reduce importation of
“We need farmers to
increase wheat production by adopting new varieties which are
demanded by factories at home. We are targeting to plant wheat
on 95,000 hectares across the country within two years,” he
According to the
Rwanda ministry of agriculture statistics, wheat is only
cultivated on more than 55,000 hectares of wheat across the
Early this year, RAB
introduced 10 wheat varieties that are expected to boost
production due high yield potential and resilience to biotic
The country spends
between 35 million U.S. dollars and 40 million U.S. dollars on
wheat grains imports which widen trade deficit gap.
Rwanda currently has
a significant trade deficit, to the tune of 15 per cent of the
total GDP in recent years.
Rwanda accounts for a third of the country’s GDP, employing
about 80 percent of the total population. It contributes 47
percent of Rwanda’s domestic goods and exports.
The country’s second
Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2)
defines a large number of programs in the agriculture sector
including the intensification of sustainable production systems
in crop cultivation and animal husbandry.
China’s aid through UN system
changing lives in Africa
By Ronald Ssekandi, Yuan Qing KAMPALA,
(Xinhua) -- The rainy season has set
off and in the swampy villages of Budaka district in eastern
Uganda, Joyce Nabejja tills her hybrid rice field in
anticipation of greater yields.
Nabejja is one of
the thousands of Ugandan small scale farmers benefiting from an
agriculture project that is run by the UN’s Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), the Ugandan government and China.
The two million U.S.
dollar project, which is in its second phase, is run under the
FAO South-South Cooperation program. It was set up to help
developing countries share knowledge and expertise so that all
can benefit from innovations and good practices that have been
tried and tested in countries facing similar conditions and
This program is part
of China’s move to channel its aid to Africa and other parts of
the world through multilateral organizations like the UN.
In September 2015,
China made major pledges in foreign aid, including two billion
U.S. dollars to support South-South cooperation and debt relief
for least-developed countries.
Also among the
pledges is a 10-year, one billion dollars peace and development
fund to support the UN.
These pledges have
started exerting a positive influence on Africa, one of the
Farmers in Uganda
are being trained by Chinese agronomists on better farming
skills. The scientists have introduced Chinese hybrid rice
Foxtail millet, apple farming, and irrigation among others.
From rice field to
the classroom, China is also helping to boost Africa’s education
sector to promote social development.
About a week ago,
the Chinese government through the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) donated equipment
to three teacher training institutions in Uganda.
Figures from the
Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272
pieces of Information Communication and Technology, and studio
equipment were donated.
The tutors were
skilled on how to integrate technology with traditional methods
of training, according to Beatrice Byakutaga, head of Shimon
Primary Teachers College, one of the three beneficiary
institutions in Uganda.
countries like Ethiopia, Namibia and Cote d’Ivoire are
benefiting from the same scheme of skilling teachers and
China has in the
past decade been in the front line of supporting UN peacekeeping
efforts in Africa, with more than 2,400 Chinese blue helmets
currently on duties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),
Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan and Mali. The troops carry out
security, engineering and medical work.
The Chinese military
engineers in the DRC have been involved in road renovation,
bridge construction, landmine detection and airport maintenance,
while the medical personnel have been providing treatment for
China is the biggest
contributor to UN peacekeeping forces among the five UN Security
Council permanent members.
In 2015, China also
pledged to provide military aid worth 100 million dollars to the
African Union to support the African Standby Force, Africa’s