The Democratic Republic of the Congo is not only a mining power. It is also an agricultural power capable of feeding itself, without importation, of agricultural products. It is in this logic that the Minister of Scientific Research, Eva Mwakasa, opened a workshop to validate the Strategic Plan for Agronomic Research-horizon 2016-2021 of the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Research, INERA . It was Friday, August 25, 2017, at the Hotel du Fleuve, in the commune of La Gombe. Indeed, INERA now has a road map that clearly defines the vision, mission, objectives and even the intervention strategy to effectively meet the expectations of all Congolese and Congolese, including all international partners In agricultural matters. The said plan, says Amand Mbuya Kankolongo, DG of INERA, fits perfectly into the development plan of the Government of the Republic. This means that the slogan ” Consommons Congolais ” should not be theoretical. Instead, the DRC should focus on production to regain its place among the largest producers and exporters. In order to do this, INERA, a spearhead of the development of agriculture, has a working tool to finally boost the agricultural sector in order to bring about change, thus achieving a more sustainable development.
The appeal of DG Amand Mbuya
“The relevance and quality of the strategic plan, however good it may be, is one thing. But its implementation is the biggest challenge we face, “said Amand Mbuya, CEO of INERA. He once again expressed the wish of his institution to see the links of collaboration and partnership well strengthened with the international research centers, as well as TFPs, NGDOs, civil society and the private sector. To achieve the objectives set out in the said Strategic Plan 2016-2021. And the conviction of DG Amand Mbuya is that the current challenges facing Congolese agriculture, requiring the search for appropriate solutions, are so numerous that no one can do it alone, whatever the means at his disposal. That is why it calls for the participation of all goodwillers in the achievement of the objectives assigned. At least, DG AMAND Mbuya, under the watchful eye of INERA’s PCA, Professor Musenga Virginie, expressed its gratitude to those who contributed to the elaboration of the said Strategic Plan of Agricultural Research. In particular, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Scientific Research. It should be emphasized that FAO has technically supported this INERA Plan. In his own words, Mr. Chris PAPA’S suggested that FAO would spare no effort to accompany the DRC towards the development of the agricultural sector. Although there are amendments made by experts in the agricultural sector, it should be pointed out that the Strategic Agricultural Research Plan is a concrete response to President Joseph Kabila’s call to diversify the production sector , To no longer depend on the mining sector alone as a source of currency. Thus, INERA, through its plan, faces a series of challenges that tarnish the image of the Democratic Republic of Congo by the indices of sustainable development. Challenges include: food insecurity, malnutrition, climate change, rural poverty, environmental degradation and biodiversity erosion, volatility in agricultural commodity prices, and so on.
For the INERA DG, the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Research has the advantage of having made a profound diagnosis of the agricultural sector and of agricultural research in the DRC by analyzing the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and risks To allow, in the final analysis, key areas that can bring a new wind to short terms. Because the Congolese government via INERA is making enormous efforts to regain its share of lost markets on an international scale with regard to tropical products. And, the ambition of the DRC is to regain its place among the largest producing and exporting countries.
The objectives of INERA
For the INERA Scientific Director, Professor Kizungu, the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Research is objectively moving towards the transformation of substantive agriculture into commercial agriculture, thus adapting to climate change. Also, improved processing and conservation will be required.
Indeed, given the changing national, subregional and international socio-economic context, the current agricultural environment and the contextual situation of agronomic research in the DRC, the proposed Strategic Plan is, Says Amand Mbuya, comprehensive because it covers virtually all the priority aspects of agricultural research for a real socio-economic impact. All this, taking into account the mandate of INERA and the main objectives, namely: Generate, develop and adapt for producers and breeders improved genetic materials with high performance and resistant to the main diseases and parasites; Technical messages and information on economically and environmentally sustainable production and protection methods; Ensure the supply of basic seeds and other planting or propagating material adapted to the environmental conditions of the environment and, finally, strengthen research and development, the capacity for dissemination and transfer of user results.