Burundi farmers left in dire straits as Rwanda-DRC sign agricultural trading agreement

A Burundi food market trader waits for customers as government bans food sales to neighbouring Rwanda.
A Burundi food market trader waits for customers as government bans food sales to neighbouring Rwanda.

By Staff Writer

The government of Rwanda has signed a trade agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to allow agri-business traders easy access to the DRC market.

The agreement was signed between the Private Sector Federation (PSF) of Rwanda and the Congolese Farmers-Concessioners Association for Development, Friday. The deal was signed during a three-day agri-business trade mission held in the eastern city of the DRC, Goma. The President of the chamber of farmers at PSF, Christine Murebwayire signed on behalf of Rwanda, while Pierre Damien Bivegete, the president of the Congolese Farmers-Concessioners Association for Development signed on behalf of the DRC.

The agreement will formalize cross-border trade between the two countries through identification and sharing of market opportunities for agricultural products. It was also agreed that the two parties will share expertise among the trade leadership as well as enable joint investment to enhance trade. Murebwayire acknowledged that the agreement will help her country get data on cross-border business, in addition to identifying the challenges affecting traders so as to ease efforts to seek permanent solutions. In reaction, DRC’s Damien Bivegete observed that there is a lot his country could learn from their Rwandan counterparts.

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