The Republic of Congo will be granting Rwanda 12,000 hectares of exploitable land in at least three departments in the south of the country. However the duration of the concession has not been specified.
This is sequel to the two memoranda of understanding and a concession agreement in the agricultural field signed by Congo and Rwanda.
The agreements were part of a series signed during the just concluded 3 day state visit of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame to Brazzaville.
Congo has 10 to 12 million hectares of arable land, of which less than 5% is used for food crops. The agricultural deal is part of eight agreements signed for the “widening and deepening of cooperation” according to a statement issued in Brazzaville.
Other agreements cover investment protection, mining, management of economic entities and the strengthening of cultural ties.
Rwanda and Congo enjoy cordial bilateral relations. The growth of bilateral ties is evidenced by 2021 agreements to remove double taxation and visa requirements to ease trade between both countries. They also signed agreements regarding military, education, and land management at the time.
Rwanda’s principal crops include coffee, pyrethrum, tea, flowers, beans, cassava banana, Irish potatoes, rice, wheat, sugarcane, among others. About 61% of Rwandan soil is suitable for agriculture as the soils are fertile. 75% of Rwanda’s agricultural production comes from smallholder farmers.
The main cash crops in Congo on the other hand include coffee, palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugar, tea, and cocoa. There has been some success developing cocoa and coffee for export. Food crops also include cassava, plantains, maize, groundnuts, and rice.