On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the conference room of the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (PDAC) in Mpila (Brazzaville), Republic of Congo, served as a venue for the launch of the work of the external audit of the Agricultural Support Fund (ASF).
The ceremony was chaired by the Coordinator of the Steering Committee of this audit, Jean-Marie Montsagna, Administrative and Legal Advisor to Minister Calixte Nganongo, in charge of finance and budget, and supervisor of the Steering Committee.
Before the 4 members of the Committee, namely: the Project Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Budget, Zacharie Mokemo; the Director General of the ASF, Appollinaire Itoua; the representative of the Minister in charge of Agriculture in the person of his Inspector General of Services, Ambroise Loufouma and the Administrative Attaché to the Office of the Ministry of Finance and Budget, Joseph Ekoubi Ossibi, the Montsagna Coordinator recalled that the external audit of the Agricultural Support Fund was recommended by the Government of the Republic It will be carried out by the Noott-Conseil firm and will cover the conditions for granting credit, as well as the Fund’s financial and accounting statements. It will also ensure the conditions for pursuing and formalizing debtors. It will also define a strategy for relaunching the Fund’s activities.
As regards the conditions for granting, the auditors will have to ensure that the beneficiaries of the Fund are farmers, market gardening cooperatives, professional farmers, cattle breeders, fish farmers, etc.
The audit will also have to verify whether each beneficiary has been identified in phase with its well delimited cultivation land in hectares; whether this land is fertile; whether it provides shelter from bad weather and whether it offers guarantees against plant diseases.
With regard to the status and qualification of the beneficiary, the Audit Firm will advise itself of its identity; its diploma or professional qualification, its accounting pledge in the event of failure to perform its task; and its guarantee of reimbursement or its contribution to national development.
Finally, the audit work will also focus on the evaluation of the Agricultural Support Fund, in particular, on the annual budgets allocated, such as the CFAF 4 billion provided for in the State budget in 2018.
The role of Agriculture, according to the Head of State, in the diversification of the economy
In an effort to diversify the Congolese economy, the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou-N’Guesso, has always focused his attention on agricultural development. Agriculture being a very promising sector, for which the Head of State has always highlighted policies to encourage the production and consumption of local products.
Slogans such as “Agriculture, priority of priorities” or “A nation who do not produce what they consume is not a free nation” are still remembered.
Unfortunately, all this vision of the President of the Republic to move forward has so far resulted in unflattering results on the ground. The establishment of the Agricultural Support Fund could have brought a real revolution to the policy of Head of State Denis Sassou-N’Guesso. Unfortunately!
That is why, today, the President of the Republic, in an effort to understand the reasons for the failure of the agricultural sector, instructed the government, through the Minister of Finance and Budget, Calixte Nganongo, to carry out an external audit of the Agricultural Support Fund. Agriculture still represents only 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 85% for the oil sector. This trend should be urgently reversed.
The Press Office of the Ministry of Finance