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Civil Society Platforms present Budget Framework Concerns to Parliamentary Committee

Esperance,one of the farmers,giving her remarks during the conference

Civil Society platforms advocate for agricultural improvement

The Civil Society platform organized by CLADHO submitted and presented their feedback and concerns regarding the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) 2018/2019 to the Parliamentary Budget Committee.

Among the challenges CSOs cited included farmers limited access to agriculture financing/loans, the need to invest in the capacity to do soil analysis and audit to improve proper land use planning and productivity, the diminishing land for agriculture-mushrooming scattered settlements on arable land, the lack of a strategic intervention aimed at maintenance of valley dams and irrigation tools among others.

The Civil Society platform organized by CLADHO submitted and presented their feedback and concerns regarding the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) 2018/2019 to the Parliamentary Budget Committee.

Among the challenges CSOs cited included farmers limited access to agriculture financing/loans, the need to invest in the capacity to do soil analysis and audit to improve proper land use planning and productivity, the diminishing land for agriculture-mushrooming scattered settlements on arable land, the lack of a strategic intervention aimed at maintenance of valley dams and irrigation tools among others.

Civil Society platforms also called for transformation of milk collection hubs to act as one stop center for farmers to acquire services such as animal vaccines, animal drugs and fertilizers.

Jean Leonard Sekanyange, the Spokesperson of the Civil Society Platform expressed his appreciation to the government for the involvement of citizens in the pre-budget planning and hearings.

Cladho & ActionAid later held a press conference with the media, sharing feedback from the BFP with them.

During the conference, Esperance Nyirahabiyambere, a smallholder farmer from Karongi district appreciated CSOs, especially, Cladho and ActionAid for empowering the rural communities with knowledge about the budget particularly in relation to agriculture.

“We had no idea at all about budgeting and where funding comes from. We didn’t even know we could have a say and could give our views on the budget today we can analyze and give feedback even in parliament,” Nyirahabiyambere stated.

James Butare, the Head of Programmes and Policy at ActionAid Rwanda also acknowledged the parliament and government for putting into consideration citizen’s feedback on the budget, citing the increment that was made to the budget last fiscal year after farmers advocating for an increment before parliament. With the recent disaster’s also, we are calling for an allocation to deal with disasters because they do have a huge impact on lives and on agriculture which everyone depends on,” he mentioned.

Emmanuel Kwizera, the Project Manager of SCAB Project noted that the European Union supports civic participation programs to enhance citizen’s role and accountability. He added that it’s through the funding of the European Union that that enabled CLADHO and ActionAid to promote citizen participation in the budget formulation, which has improved the budgeting process.