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Government sets eyes on increased private investment in agribusiness with new land information system

A land information system has been launched to increase smallholder farmers’ income by promoting private sector investment.

Known Agriculture Land Information System (ALIS), the system hopes to assist government attract private investment to the sector.

The system, set up with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG), is implemented by the International Resources Group (IRG) from August 2014 to August 2019.

Demonstrating the online platform during the launch, Octave Semwaga, the director general of Strategic Planning and Programs Coordination in the ministry of agriculture, said the system is accessible anywhere in the world.

“Whoever wants to invest in agriculture in Rwanda can access ALIS before coming to invest. The investor explores the plot, its locations and size, soil suitability for certain crops, agro-climatic conditions, infrastructure such as electricity and water, nearby local markets and others,” he explained.

The State Minister of Agriculture, Fulgence Nsengiyumva, said the system is also expected to increase agriculture productivity.

“Minagri has over 48,000 hectares of land that are not suitably exploited or lent to farmers who do not really apply agriculture transformation methods. If the land is given to private investors, the productivity will increase and it will serve as a model to other farmers,” he observed.

“To keep the momentum of agricultural contribution to national domestic growth, more private sector involvement is needed. However, a challenge to many local and foreign investors has been to identify suitable land for agricultural investments. Now 24,000 hectares can be checked under the ALIS,” Nsengiyumva noted.

The American ambassador to Rwanda, Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, said the system cost about $18500 under the Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) program which is a five-year initiative funded by USAID.

The platform is accessible on www.minagri.gov.rw/investorapp/ and is expected to enable Minagri to have up to date and reliable data to inform investment decisions and also will prevent duplication of work, minimize waste of resources, and enhance efficiency.

Jimirasire

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