The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth project (PSDAG) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to increase agriculture financing.

Through the agreement, BRD has reserved about Rwf 140 billion for loans to finance agricultural mechanization, modernization, and processing technologies.

An additional Rwf 180 billion will be available to assist the export sector, including agricultural exports.

Alex Kanyankole, the CEO of BRD said the partnership between the bank and USAID, which was developed through USAID’s PSDAG project, will strengthen agriculture lending, and provide a boost for the sector.

The PSDAG project will provide technical assistance to BRD staff and its partners as a contribution to achieving the national objective of increasing agriculture financing.

“Increased access to loans and other financing will create more investment by farmers and agribusinesses, and stronger market opportunities for small-scale farmers,” Kanyankole explained.

He added that BRD will use the funds for many purposes, including providing low-rate, affordable loans for small farmers through microfinance institutions and community cooperatives.

The bank will also finance commercial projects in livestock, fish, and feed production, and offer financial guarantees for export and agriculture investments. In addition, BRD will help bankroll projects in high-value crop and seed production, and more.

“We are grateful for this partnership with USAID, which is a timely boost of the bank’s efforts of financing development and modernization of the agriculture sector. As we embark on increasing lending and access to financial services for the sector, it is essential to provide technical support and capacity building to our staff and clients,” he said.

USAID Rwanda’s acting mission director Leslie Marbury also said that they were delighted to partner with BRD to increase financing and leverage private investments in the agriculture sector.

“Through this critical partnership, our support will expand markets, create more jobs opportunities and increase incomes in rural populations,” she remarked.

group

About the PSDAG program

The Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) program is a five-year (2014-2019) project funded by USAID. The goal of PSDAG is to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by promoting private sector investments and to facilitate the transformation of agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive, and high-value sector. PSDAG is the largest project in Rwanda under the U.S. government’s Global Food Security Strategy.

Alex Kanyankole, the CEO of BRD, and Leslie Marbury, USAID Rwanda’s acting mission director, sign the agreement.