The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Matata Ponyo Mapon has identifield agriculture as a major sector which can accelerate the growth of African economies. Prime Minister Matata Ponyo stated this on Tuesday (14th July) at an exhibition organized by the government and IITA.
The exhibition which was tagged: “Young Congolese and Agribusiness exhibition”, showcased various products derived from cassava and soybean at the Prime Minister’s garden in Kinshasa. Prime Minister Matata Ponyo said the government of the country had identified that youths were the agent of change that could bring the necessary technologies and zeal to revolutionalize the agricultural sector. He added that the government of the country shared the IITA’s vision of improving agriculture through research, science driven agriculture and youth involvement in the sector. “The organization of this exhibition is a testimony of the engagement of the President, His Excellency Joseph Kabila, the Prime Minister, and other ministries to improve agriculture especially in the rural areas,” he added.
Impressed by the activities of IITA especially in the area of youth involvement in agriculture, the Prime Minister commended the Director General of IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga for the youth initiative and promised that the country would support the spread of the initiative in the country. Appreciating the Prime Minister and members of the cabinet for the opportunity given to IITA to showcase agriculture from a new dimension, IITA’s country representative, Dr Nzola Mahungu said the IITA Youth Agripreneurs’ initiative which is spreading across Africa is aimed at reducing youth unemployment around the continent.
“Agriculture is the best sector to involve youth in business. IITA initiated the Agripreneurs’ model which is now famous on the continent to get youths involved in agriculture. These young Agripreneurs are really committed to learning and doing business using agriculture along the value chain
from production to processing and marketing,” he said.
The exhibition was one of the outcomes of the initial visit of two Special Advisers to the Prime Minister to IITA Ibadan, Nigeria. The Special Advisers, Mr Gerome Masankisi Kamwanga and John Ulimwengu had visited IITA in June this year to explore areas of partnership and investment with the Institute.