Agricultural Growth and Investment Options for Poverty Reduction in Rwanda

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Intl Food Policy Res Inst, Jan 1, 2010 - Social Science - 124 pages
Although Rwanda has made considerable progress in recovering politically and economically from the devastating effects of the 1994 genocide, the poverty rate is still higher and the gross domestic product lower than before the genocide. Poverty reduction and economic growth would receive much-needed support from increased agricultural growth. This study assesses alternative agricultural development strategies, identifying areas in which policy reforms, together with public and private investment, can best promote Rwandan agriculture. The authors evaluate the potential of several different agricultural subsectors-grains, root crops, livestock, and others-to contribute to national agricultural growth and poverty reduction. They conclude that growth in staple crops, particularly root crops such as cassava and potatoes, has the greatest potential to encourage economywide growth and poverty reduction. Promoting the necessary staple crop growth will require the allocation of public resources to the agricultural sector to increase significantly, reaching 10 percent of the total government budget. It will also require rethinking Rwanda's earlier emphasis on promoting export crop growth, which has proved inadequate in encouraging poverty reduction while also posing environmental problems. This study makes an important contribution to the debate over the most effective development strategies for Rwanda and other Sub-Saharan African nations.Show More Show Less

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