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Agriculture employs 70 percent of the labor force in Rwanda, and the country's solid growth record and macroeconomic stability provide a solid foundation for agricultural investment. Rwanda has committed itself to generating sustained agricultural growth, including increasing the share of the national budget allocated to agriculture from 3 percent in 2006 to 10.7 percent in 2013. Rwanda’s investments appear to be paying off, with annual agriculture growth averaging over 6 percent since 2007.
Despite the gains made, agricultural productivity remains low and the levels of chronic malnutrition remain unacceptably high at 44% percent for children under 2 years old. Through Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative, USAID is promoting inclusive agricultural growth throughout the country.
Current agricultural programs build on years of progress and accomplishment in Rwanda. USAID support seeks to increase productivity in targeted value chains such as maize, beans and dairy and other high value crops. The programs also help farmers increase access to and adoption of nutrition-sensitive agricultural technologies and to improve their capacity to manage natural resources and to adapt to climate change.
Encouraging private sector growth and competitiveness in the agriculture sector is also a USAID priority. In the dairy sector, USAID's work has increased the productivity and profitability of processors and improved the lives of rural Rwandans providing training and equipment that helps increase the quantity, quality, and market demand of milk products. USAID is also encouraging private sector competitiveness through a Global Development Alliancein the pyrethrum sector, the privatization of the country's fertilizer distribution system, and supporting the development of policies that encourage private sector engagement and investment in Rwanda's agriculture.
Last updated: November 10, 2015