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New IFAD-funded project in DRC to feed cities, develop rural areas and promote food sovereignty

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Rome, 16 February 2023 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), represented by its President Alvaro Lario, and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), together with the DRC’s Permanent Representative to IFAD, Ambassador Paul Emile Tshinga Ahuka, today signed a loan agreement to reduce poverty and ensure food sovereignty in rural areas.

IFAD is providing US$45.2 million in financing for the Empowerment through Nutrition-sensitive, Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural and Rural Entrepreneurship Project (AVENIR), cofinanced by DRC and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

This new project was designed to support the sustainable transformation of family farming with three main objectives: improved natural resource management to help mitigate the effects of climate change, higher incomes for rural households in the provinces neighbouring Kinshasa, and a more varied diet for rural people.

The project falls under the oversight of the Ministry of Agriculture and seeks to reach two million people in the coming seven years, or 450,000 rural households. At least half of the beneficiaries will be women and half young people.

Although DRC is among the African countries offering the greatest potential in terms of arable land, only 1 per cent of it is currently under cultivation. The reasons include under-investment in the agriculture sector and basic infrastructure, including roads to facilitate access to production areas and markets. Much of the country’s food is imported, including cereals, sugar, fruits and vegetables, and fish. In 2019, such imports carried a cost of more than US$2.5 billion.

AVENIR will respond to strong demand for agricultural products on major urban markets such as the metropolis of Kinshasa with its 17 million inhabitants, while lowering imports.

AVENIR is fully aligned with the DRC’s national policy on food security and nutrition, as well as IFAD’s strategic objectives, particularly with regard to nutrition. It will be implemented from July 2023 to June 2030 in the four provinces of Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu and Mai-Ndombe, as well as the Kinshasa periphery.

Since 1980, IFAD has financed 10 operations in DRC for a total value of US$617 million, of which US$259 million in the form of direct investment.

 

Media contact: Bakary Coulibaly | ba.coulibaly@ifad.org | +221774504539

PR-12-2023

IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.  

 

A wide range of photographs of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank

 

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