The Democratic Republic of Congo wants to attract international investors with a new farming plan. The country plans to modify a law that restricts foreign ownership of agriculture projects. The country is seeking to raise financing for a proposed $5.7-billion expansion plan, the Agriculture Ministry said, reports BusinessDay.
According to the government, it has already received 15 percent of the funds required for the plan, which projects a 6 percent annual growth in the industry, Agriculture Minister Jean-Chrysostome Vahamwiti told reporters. In September, the government will host a conference to interest more investment.
“We don’t want loans, we want private investment, people who bring their own capital to invest in this country,” Vahamwiti said. Current legislation that mandates that Congolese citizens or companies must own more than 50 percent of agricultural projects is being changed as part of a process of “reassuring eventual investors,” he said.
According to African Development Bank and World Bank data, agriculture makes up about 22 percent of the country’s $15.6 billion economy. Economic growth in Congo, which is the world’s eighth-largest copper producer, is projected to accelerate to 8.2 percent this year from 7.2 percent last year, states the government,” reports.
Most of the country’s recent economic boost is the result of higher mineral prices, and agriculture will be “the permanent successor to mining, which is, unfortunately, unsustainable,” Vahamwiti said.