The “Regional Great Lakes Integrated Agriculture Development Program” (formerly referred to as the “Ruzizi Growth Pole”) including Burundi and DRC. This program is financed under the Great Lakes initiative for an amount of US$225 million from IDA resources ($150 m for DRC and $75 m for Burundi). The identification mission was conducted in November 2014 followed by a technical preparation mission in April-May 2015. A pre-appraisal mission was scheduled for November 2015 with an expected Board approval in May 2016.
The development objective of this program is to benefit local communities in targeted areas of DRC and Burundi by increasing the productivity of selected agricultural value-chains and to strengthen the regional economic integration in both countries. The program is being designed around four components:
- Support to the development of selected value-chains (rice, dairy and fisheries) with emphasis on the promotion of private sector and value chain financing. This component will attract 50% of the support financing and will include subcomponents to intensify agriculture production, develop rural infrastructure and promote private sector and value-chain financing;
- Community-based conflict prevention and sustainable landscape management (20% of funding);
- Promotion of regional integration (15% of funding); and
- Capacity building of support services and program management (15% of funding).
This program is being jointly prepared with International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) to ensure a strong private sector orientation and help identify potential private investors.
A firm has been recently recruited to undertake a master plan in the target area in DRC, the corridor Bukavu-Uvira-Kalemie (located in the South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces) that will help gather critical data to finalize the project design at appraisal (March 2016). This program aims at developing targeted agro industrial platforms along the corridor (in particular in the Ruzizi Plain) and is also assisting the Government of DRC to identify and design a big agro industrial park in the Tanganyika province as part of the recently launched initiative to diversify the economy. It is obvious that this program would require strong private sector involvement and investment to succeed.