News / Africa

DRC Cuts Budget for Agriculture

Displaced children pick vegetables from a garden near an Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camp in Kiwanja township in the rebel controlled territory in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, October 24, 2012.
Displaced children pick vegetables from a garden near an Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camp in Kiwanja township in the rebel controlled territory in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, October 24, 2012.
Nick Long
The Democratic Republic of Congo's government has cut its budget for agriculture, despite a previous pledge to raise it. The DRC's confederation of agricultural producers is protesting the cut, which was agreed to this week in a parliamentary vote on the government budget for 2013. 

When he took office in April, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon told parliament that in the next five years the DRC could halve the number of its citizens living in absolute poverty by boosting its agricultural sector.

At the time, some lawmakers commented that to help make that happen the government ought to boost spending for agriculture and rural development, which were allocated only 3 percent of the budget for 2012.

But instead of boosting that share in 2013, the government has cut it to 1.75 percent, angering the DRC’s national confederation of agricultural producers, CONAPAC.  

Paluku Mivimba, the chairman of CONAPAC says his members feel very negative about the budget reduction, which doesn’t meet the expectations of the people and especially of small farmers, nor does it correspond with the president’s wish to make the Congo the granary of Africa.

The government has made some commitments to increasing its spending on agriculture. Along with other regional governments it signed a pledge in 2003 to increase agriculture and rural development’s share of the budget to 10 percent.

Paluku, who is also chairman of a regional network of farmers' groups, says the other governments in the region have made an effort to meet or even exceed that target.He says Burundi now spends around 12 percent of its budget on agriculture, Rwanda more than 10 percent, and Tanzania and Kenya around seven percent.

He also said that to his knowledge, each country in the region defines agriculture and rural development in the same way and that spending on rural roads, for example, is included in rural development budgets in Congo and in the rest of the region.

According to Paluku, the prime minister made a specific pledge to raise spending on agriculture earlier this year.

He says that during the launch of the national agricultural campaign, the prime minister said the government was spending $32 million on the campaign this year and aimed to increase that progressively to $100 million.

In fact, says CONAPAC, even the $32 million hasn’t been spent in a timely fashion.

The agricultural campaign is limping, it’s not going well, says Paluku. He says nothing that was promised, including improved seeds and other material, has been provided in time, and adds that it’s now too late for this campaign.

In his speech defending the budget this week, the prime minister said he hoped to raise the agriculture budget in future.

The government is facing a wave of insurgencies in the east of the country, which has forced it to increase military spending.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs