KIGALI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda's annual agriculture sector growth rate increased to 7 percent in 2017 from 4 percent the previous year, the country's Prime Minister said Tuesday.
"We attribute this upward trend to the crop intensification programs and favorable rainfall in most production areas," said Edouard Ngirente while presenting the status of the Rwanda agriculture sector to members of the parliament.
Livestock and livestock products increased by 11 percent, food crops recorded 7 percent increment, agricultural exports increased by 2 percent while fish sector registered 5 percent increment, said Ngirente at the parliament in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.
Rwanda's agriculture sector contribution to GDP increased to 31 percent in 2017 from 28 percent in 2010, he said.
The government plans to boost agriculture production by scaling up consolidated land for crop production from the current 635,603 hectares to 980,000 hectares in 2024, irrigated land surface from current 48,508 hectares to 102,284 hectares by 2024, said the PM.
Value addition for the agriculture sector will continue to be a priority especially through irrigation and marshland development, he added.
According to him, Rwanda's agriculture sector accounts for a third of the country's GDP, employing about 65.8 percent of the total population.
The crop intensification program was introduced in 2007 as a pilot program with the main goals of increasing agricultural productivity in high-potential food crops, ensuring food security and self-sufficiency.