Congo aims to attract foreign investment to develop domestic agriculture

At the PMA Fresh Connections South Africa, recently held in Pretoria, Mr Barthelemy Mumba, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock of the Republic of Congo’s southern Katanga province, gave a speech on his country’s efforts to attract foreign investment and promote domestic agriculture.

“The Katanga province, with 497,000 square kilometres, is larger than California and 16 times larger than Belgium; it has 12,000,000 hectares of fertile lands, so when talking about economic expansion, our province is a great case study,” affirms Mr Mumba.

Although the country is hampered by some logistical issues, Mr Mumba assures that, fortunately, the most populated areas by the Congo River are not affected by them. This river is the ninth longest in the world and the second largest in terms of water volume. “It provides a fantastic water highway for transport from east to west.”
According to Mr Mumba, another positive aspect about the country is its consolidated democracy. “The Government fights corruption and invests in infrastructure, such as new airports and terminals, and even the South African cement company KPC has invested in the country.”

The long-term goal, in cooperation with South Africa, is to finish with the country’s issues and encourage technological investments in the agricultural sector, from which both countries could mutually benefit, as Katanga’s development would allow South Africa to significantly reduce the cost of imports.

Mr Mumba states that such projects are already underway, including the construction of a fertiliser plant close to Kinshasa and of an agro-business park, “although at the moment most products are still imported, despite our rich resources. With the development of an agro-industry, we would be able not just to supply our market, but also to export to other countries.”

“Katanga is open for business; the Government is aware of the province’s potential and its commitment is to boost agriculture,” concludes Mr Barthelemy Mumba.

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