The project seeks to improve the level of food security and the living standards of people who cultivate rice in the Pool Malebo (former Stanley Pool) area of Kinshasa by a quantitative and qualitative increase in rice production, through the development of the Kingabwa irrigation perimeter. The special opportunity that the project site offers are
(a) the proximity to the urban human food market (Kinshasa and Brazzaville in neighboring Congo-Brazzaville) and
(b) the willingness of a local private sector partner (BRALIMA S.A.) to guarantee access to post-harvest processing facilities and nearby markets.
The availability of locally produced rice will reduce dependence of the urban dwellers in Kinshasa on imported rice and hence increase Food Security in Kinshasa. While the project does not address a generic problem or opportunity that reach across country boundaries, the presented opportunity to substantially increase food security and to encourage value adding economic activity in an extremely underdeveloped and densely populated region of Africa is substantial. With the initial commitment to co-finance the establishment of irrigation facilities in the Pool Malebo area close to Kinshasa with the modest amount of USD 120,000 under the CFC “Fast Track” facility, the CFC was central to promote and subsequently secure additional funding of more than USD 1.5 million. Contributors are the Dutch “Schoklandfonds”, USAID and the (Heineken owned) BRALIMA foundation that led to the project. Expected drastic increase in rice production through irrigation (two or three harvests per year and no water stress for the plants) will lead to substantially improved food security and to encourage value adding economic activity in an extremely underdeveloped and densely populated region of Africa. Part of the initially expected surplus rice production will be purchased by the local BRALIMA brewery under a forward contract scheme, in order to avoid any negative market distortion.