Abandonment of agriculture, the causes of poverty in the DRC: World Bank

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Agricultural households, the report stresses, face serious production constraints because the Congolese agricultural sector remains the least productive because of the absence of a coherent strategy capable of boosting development. The agricultural sector, continues the report of the World Bank, is stumbling to the progressive withdrawal of the governmental actors of the activities of support to agriculture because of the armed conflicts that the country knew.

The abandonment of agriculture by the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the benefit of sectors such as transport and mining, is one of the causes justifying the poverty of Congolese, says the report of the World Bank on assessment of poverty, made public Tuesday in Kinshasa.

 This assessment, which spans the period from 2005 to 2012, indicates that the majority of the poor in the DRC live in rural areas where, paradoxically, endowments in terms of arable land and natural water bodies constitute a non-agricultural potential. negligible.

Agricultural households, the report stresses, face serious production constraints because the Congolese agricultural sector remains the least productive because of the lack of a coherent strategy capable of boosting development. The agricultural sector, continues the report of the World Bank, is stumbling to the progressive withdrawal of the governmental actors of the activities of support to agriculture because of the armed conflicts that the country knew.

According to the WB report, DRC agricultural production is very low compared to other African countries. Agricultural value added per worker and grain yield per hectare are the lowest. “In 2013, for example, the agricultural value added per worker was 224 (two hundred and twenty-four) USD and the grain yield per hectare was 767 (seven hundred and sixty seven) kg / ha, compared to an average of Sub-Saharan Africa of 706 (seven hundred six) USD and 1,433 (one thousand four hundred and thirty-three) Kg / ha. In addition, the agricultural value added per worker and the yield of cereals per hectare only changed slightly between 2000 and 2013, “says the report.

The World Bank recommends prioritizing agriculture and rural development when designing livelihoods and poverty reduction policies in the DRC.

Profile of the poor in the DRC

The report notes that in the DRC, the poor live in large households with high dependency ratios. On average, poor Congolese households have twice as many children as non-poor households.

Most of the heads of poor households in the DRC are relatively well educated nationally, about one-third of poor household heads have completed primary school, and nearly half, 43.7%, had a secondary education and 4% of higher education.

The same document points out that the incidence of poverty is above 60% in most parts of the DRC. The highest is in the Central and Northwestern regions. The city of Kinshasa and other urban areas, meanwhile, record lower average poverty rates.

As for the distribution of the number of poor, it varies from one region to another. The provinces of Kinshasa, South Kivu, Kwilu, Lomami and North Kivu have the largest number of the poor. These provinces represent 33% of the poor population of the DRC. Some provinces such as Sankuru, Tanganika, Mai Ndombe, Mongala and Bas-Uélé have high average poverty rates because of the low density of their respective populations.

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