Refilling the breadbasket of the Congo: helping to stabilise a formerly war-torn region
Press Release from 2018-05-08 / Group, KfW Development Bank
- EUR 35 million for small farmers in North and South Kivu
- Securing the food supply for 180,000 people
- Reintegrating returning internally displaced persons (IDPs)
- Generating sources of income for the population
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW is providing EUR 35 million in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) provinces of North and South Kivu to support food security for refugees and returning IDPs, as well as for the communities and families hosting them. The recipients have lost their livelihoods as a result of the armed conflicts in the DRC, and subsistence farming often does not produce enough to meet people’s needs. To date, only three per cent of the landmass has been in agricultural use. Yet due to its highly fertile soil, the area’s conditions are ideal for productive agriculture, including for cassava, sugar cane, coffee, palm oil, natural rubber and banana cultivation. Improved cultivation techniques, storage practices and stronger marketing could boost the smallholders’ incomes, even on their compact parcels of land, enabling them to make a living from farming their own land once again in the future.
“The DRC is one of the poorest nations in the world, and the east of the country is home to the largest number of IDPs on the planet. If it is possible to successfully reactivate the breadbasket of the Congo in North and South Kivu, that would be a big contribution towards stabilisation in the formerly war-torn region, and a major step from emergency relief to self-help for 180,000 people,” says Dr Joachim Nagel, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group.
The promotional measures are to be implemented via the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), both of which have staff working on the ground, have many years of experience in the DRC and cooperate with local farmers’ organisations.