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DRC: the Agriculture Sector Emergency Recovery Program will cost $1 billion

Thursday, 18 May 2023 17:27
DRC: the Agriculture Sector Emergency Recovery Program will cost $1 billion

(Ecofin Agency) - Less than 10% of DR Congo’s arable lands are cultivated, despite the country being among the African nations with the greatest agricultural potential. This is because the country strongly depends on imports to meet its food demand.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Agricultural Sector Emergency Recovery Program will cost over $1 billion. This was disclosed by the country's Vice Premier, Vital Kamerhe. The program aims to boost food production to avert shortages ahead of the next agricultural season.

The program targets 12 staple crops, including corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, cassava, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, beans, cowpeas, soybeans, and bananas. DRC currently faces a corn supply crisis that's causing prices to go up, primarily in the Katanga and Kasai provinces. 

Local corn production meets only 25% of the country’s demand. Besides this, the other reason for the corn shortage is Zambia’s decision to halt exports in April, to preserve its reserves. Zambia is DRC’s closest supplier.

The Congolese government, to alleviate the crisis, took several measures, such as suspending import duties and taxes on corn and flour for six months, and importing more from South Africa. 

Agriculture contributes 19% of the DRC’s GDP and employs about 55% of the active population.

Stéphanas Assocle

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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