BUJUMBURA March 9th (ABP) – In the framework of creating agro-food value chains in the East African Community, Ms. Jocelyne Ngabire, Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Trade, proceeded in Bujumbura on Thursday March 7 with the launch of the works of the 7th meeting of the National Reference Group of the 2nd phase of the PACT EAC project.

Ms. Ngabire said in her speech that the PACT EAC 2 project advocates for the promotion of a commercially conscious agribusiness to defend food security.

According to that adviser, this policy is a good combination for a value chain of agriculture, especially since agribusiness is a priority sector of Burundi national industrialization policy.

She said that today, the global market for agricultural products has become very demanding of high quality products offering immediate availability with flavor, freshness and commodity, respect for the environment and traceability that only a value chain can guarantee.

To that end, Ms. Ngabire pointed out that farmers must therefore be part of a chain in which everything is identifiable where they can have good information and sometimes even benefit from training in capacity building and technologies. .

She added that export-oriented agribusinesses can increase and improve employment in rural areas, particularly helping women lift themselves out of poverty and contribute to the diversification of the rural economy. But, she pointed out, this requires very specific incentives, including basic facilities, finance, technology and capacity building.

In his presentation on the expectations of the private sector development strategy, the country director of the PACT EAC2 project, Mr. Godefroid Manirankunda, said that the role of the private sector is to produce, transform, market, promote and implement State priorities.

He added that the private sector at the national level has as a strategy to invest different forms of industries especially agribusiness, in order to create jobs and improve household income.

As for the private sector at the regional and international levels, Mr. Manirankunda said that its strategy is foreign investment, stating that the private sector is governed by laws, policies, regulations, harmonized quality, standard and health.

According to the country director of the PACT EAC2 project, the East African Community has a development strategy based on public accountability, private sector accountability and collective responsibility.

In its industrialization policy, the EAC has adopted policy measures including strengthening the business and regulatory environment, improving access to financial and technical resources for industrialization, facilitating industrially appropriate development of skills and knowledge and access to these.

There is also the facilitation of the development of Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the strengthening of management and industrial information dissemination systems as well as the promotion of fair industrial development in the EAC region.

Mr. Manirankunda pointed out that despite good objectives of the EAC Private Sector Development Strategy (SDSP), this sector faces certain challenges and constraints.

For Manirankunda, those challenges and constraints are related to macroeconomic and sectoral policies, the institutional framework, access to key resources and infrastructure services (roads, electricity, ICT, water) and public utility services (security, justice, equity).

With regard to the priority sectors of the EAC SDSP, Mr. Manirankunda said that the strategy will be implemented by giving priority to sectors that have great potential for reducing poverty and which are able to access the intra-regional trade and private sector investment.

Note that these priority sectors include agriculture and agri-food sector, natural resources, manufacturing, tourism, information and communication technologies, he said.

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