The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared a $6.6 billion investment in its Agriculture Transformation Programme (PTA). This ten-year plan, revealed at the DRC Agribusiness Forum in Kinshasa, highlights the nation's strategy to diversify its economy by focusing on agriculture, aiming to establish itself as a key food producer in Africa.
For local farmers, this program is significant. The DRC has 80 million hectares of cultivable land, four million hectares suitable for irrigation, and a climate that supports diverse farming activities. The investment aims to modernize farming practices, providing farmers with better access to resources, infrastructure, and markets. This initiative is expected to increase productivity, improve food security, and raise the living standards of communities reliant on farming.
The program also presents opportunities for investors. The forum, organized by the DRC Government, the African Development Bank, and the International Finance Corporation, attracted participants from 28 countries, including investors, government officials, and leaders of public and private companies. The event emphasized that the DRC's agricultural sector offers various investment opportunities.
Investors have the potential to engage in different areas of the agricultural value chain, from cultivation and livestock farming to processing and distribution. The government's support through tax incentives, administrative facilities, and infrastructure development makes investing in the DRC's agricultural sector more appealing. The proposed sovereign wealth fund for agriculture offers additional support, providing financial assistance and advisory services to investors.
The National Food and Agriculture Pact, introduced at the Food Sovereignty and Resilience Summit, is part of the PTA, providing a stable policy environment and a clear strategy for growth, which is crucial for investor confidence. This pact aligns with the African Development Bank's strategy for the DRC, further solidifying the PTA's importance over the next five years.
However, the initiative recognizes several challenges. Discussions at the forum included the importance of sustainable agriculture, addressing operational challenges, and improving industry resilience. There was a focus on adopting a project-based approach, reducing bureaucratic obstacles, and streamlining regulatory frameworks for Special Economic Areas and Public-Private Partnerships.