KINSHASA, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Kitoko Food Farm has showcased its innovative model for agriculture development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the Africa Progress Panel (APP). Chaired by Kofi Annan, the APP visited the DRC to discuss its recently released 2014 Progress Report Grain, Fish, Money.
In addition to a Kitoko presentation at the APP conference in Kinshasa, APP delegates visited the Kitoko farm to get a hands-on view of the considerable scale of the site. The APP visit follows visits by other organizations and government representatives in the recent past, including the World Bank and the Governor of Kinshasa, André Kimbuta.
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 is a commercial reality.
More than 70 percent of the population works in agriculture in the DRC, where only 10 percent of the country's 80 million arable hectares are under production.
"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 Mr. Gil Abrel, Kitoko Food Farm CEO. "They saw with their own eyes that this is exactly what the Kitoko model does."
A 650-hectare (1,600-acre) farm along the N'sele River 50km (30 miles) 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 of this year, Kitoko began growing cassava leaves, indigenous spinach, Ngaï Ngaï and other local vegetables. Today, Kitoko Food Farm 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.
"Kitoko Food Farm is a sustainable business model that is ideal for the DRC agriculture sector," said Mr. Dan Gertler. "One or more in every province can help the DRC feed itself and help make the DRC a key player in feeding Africa. We are determined to demonstrate that large scale commercial farming is possible in the DRC - it can provide jobs and help drive the economy. Most importantly, Kitoko is the first commercial project seeking to solve the vital issue of food security in the DRC. This is the kind of investment the DRC needs and we welcome the APP's interest and support. "
KitokoFood, Sprl. NRC. KG/7206M. ID,NAT. 01-193-N57248G.
Immeuble Tilapia, 5e étage. 70 Avenue Batetela, Kinshasa, Gombe, RD CONGO
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SOURCE Fleurette Group