Organised by Belgian NGO EMRC International, the four-day forum in Kinshasa was inaugurated by Isidore Kabwe Mwebhu Longo, Congolese minister of agriculture, fisheries and livestock.
Speaking about the country’s huge potential for agricultural production, Mwebhu Longo said, “The DR Congo is first and foremost a country with an agricultural destiny. In fact, if the agricultural potential of the DR Congo was fully developed, this country could potentially feed up to two billion people on the planet.”
According to International Food Policy Research Institute, the DR Congo has the highest rate of malnutrition in the world, despite possessing 80mn hectares of arable land, 90 per cent of which is unused.
Mwebhu Longo continued, “We enjoyed GDP growth rates of nine per cent last year, which makes us one of the world’s fastest growing economies. We have also made significant progress in creating a more favourable environment for business.
“It now takes an average of three days to register a business. These are positive signals to entrepreneurs and international investors.”
The theme of this year’s forum will be ‘creating a vision for Africa’s agricultural transformation by fostering inclusive growth’, the key elements of which will be the modernisation of the sector, the creation of sustainable and inclusive growth and the promotion of responsible finance.