Kitoko food farm impresses Africa Progress Panel (DRC)

The Africa Progress Panel (APP), chaired by Kofi Annan, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to discuss an innovative model for agriculture development submitted by Kitoko Food Farm. Over and above the Kitoko presentation, APP delegates visited the Kitoko farm to get a hands-on view of the considerable scale of the site.
Funded by the Fleurette Group, the Kitoko model is the first of its kind in the DRC to invest in high-tech vegetable and fruit production. It is also seeking to address the country’s chronic food shortages and advance its agriculture and economic development by equipping Congolese with the tools and skills needed to become self-sufficient in food production. Importantly, the Kitoko model is also seeking to demonstrate sustainable commercial farming in the DRC as a commercial reality. A 650 hectare (1,600-acre) farm along the N’sele River, 50km outside of Kinshasa, the DRC capital, Kitoko food farm began producing crops of maize, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables in June 2013. In January this year, Kitoko began growing cassava leaves, indigenous spinach, ngaï and other local vegetables. Kitoko Food Farm now supplies local markets, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants with these and other fresh high-quality vegetables and fruit at prices significantly lower than the cost of imported food.
“During our presentation in front of the panel and their visit to the farm, we shared with the APP that we fully endorse many of the findings in its report, including that the African continent needs an economic transformation that taps into Africa’s other riches, particularly its arable land,” said Gil Abrel, Kitoko
Food Farm’s CEO. “They saw with their own eyes that this is exactly what the Kitoko model does.”
More than 70% of the population works in agriculture in the DRC, although only 10% of the country’s 80 million arable hectares are under production. The APP visit follows visits by other organisations and government representatives in the recent past, including the World Bank and the Governor of Kinshasa, André Kimbuta.
– investobharat