It was in control of a tractor pulling a manuring system that the Head of State, Joseph Kabila, inaugurated last Tuesday, the site of Bunkanga Lonzo, about 220 km in the East of Kinshasa. It covers 75.000 hectares.
The government eventually plans the launching of 20 agro-industrial parks to highlight the enormous agricultural potential of the country.
Destroyed by 20 years of conflicts that continue in the East part of the country, the DR of Congo is a real importer of foodstuffs today whereas according to the authorities, the country has 80 million hectares of arable land and an important workforce mostly unused.
According to the government, this vast project thus aims at doping the development of the country and at highlighting the enormous potential of arable land available in the country.
Authorities underlined that the site of Bunkanga Lonzo was chosen for its very high added value production potential: arable land with strong yield, availability of water and ease irrigation, closeness with the city of Kinshasa that represents a market and a commercial outlet of more than 10 million people.
An agro-industrial park is « a special arranged economic zone and endowed with services going from research to the marketing« , explained the Minister for Agriculture, Jean Chrisostome Vahamwiti, reminding that government wanted to see the country leaving the era of the subsistence farming to enter the agro-industry era.
About 83 million dollars were mobilized for the launching of the project. Sopagri, a mixed company recently created, is in charge of supplying services, equipments and agricultural inputs to this site which management was confided given to a South African consortium, Africom.
The first sowing and corns and beans plantations should take place in September for a harvest around February-March, 2015.
Original text by: Blaise AKAME