Burundi, located in Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a total area of 27,830 sq km. In comparison, Burundi is slightly larger than Haiti, or about the size of the state of Maryland in the U.S. The country’s climate is equatorial with two wet seasons: February through May and September through November; and two dry seasons: June through August and December through January. Of Burundi’s total land area, 35 percent is utilized for cultivated crops, while another 13 percent supports permanent crops such as trees bearing fruits and nuts. One of several urgent agricultural issues facing Burundi is soil erosion. This is a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands. Deforestation and habitat loss that threaten wildlife populations are also of concern. The country’s population is approximately 9.5 million, with 93 percent of its workforce dedicated to agriculture. However, due to outdated agricultural practices and poor use of resources, 68 percent of Burundi’s population lives in poverty. Burundi’s economy is highly dependent on the export of coffee and tea, which account for 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Other agricultural products in Burundi include cotton, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, livestock, milk, hides and cassava. The East and Southern Africa Division is responsible for IFDC activities in Burundi.
Current IFDC Projects in Burundi
- CATALIST-2, 2012-2016
This project follows the CATALIST project (2007-2012), which focused on increasing agricultural productivity per land unit. CATALIST-2 builds on CATALIST activities in Burundi, Rwanda and the North and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also continues to promote agribusiness clusters and market integration, assisting 700,000 smallholder farmers to increase their incomes by 50 percent by project end. Support is provided by the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University and Research Centre, which is developing improved germplasm (seed genetics) to enhance crop yields and product quality.
DONOR: The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda
- Sustainable Energy Production Through Woodlots and Agroforestry (SEW), 2009-2013
More than 90 percent of household energy in Central Africa’s Great Lakes Region is derived from biomass, contributing to rapid deforestation. SEW promotes sustainable energy production through reforestation and the development of wood fuel and charcoal value chains. The project also aims to decrease competition for land use between the energy and agricultural sectors by increasing wood production, agricultural productivity and incomes. The project is focused in Burundi, the North and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
DONOR: Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Recent IFDC Projects in Burundi
- Africa Fertilizer Efficiency Program, 2009-2011
This program was an agricultural intensification effort targeting peri-urban farmers who have the potential to supply increased crop yields to nearby urban markets. These smallholder farmers, who have fields immediately adjoining urban areas, were trained by IFDC in new farming technologies and supplied with high-quality agro-inputs including fertilizer and high-yielding seed varieties.
- Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability (CATALIST), 2006-2012
CATALIST worked to increase food security, reduce poverty, improve regional collaboration and foster peace and security in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa. The project enabled farmers to increase their crop production and incomes through an integrated approach combining sustainable agricultural intensification technologies with farm-to-market linkages, agroforestry and infrastructure construction.
- COMESA Regional Agricultural Inputs Program (COMRAP), 2010-2011
COMRAP responded to rising food prices by increasing agricultural productivity through improved access to finance, training, fertilizer and seeds. Over the course of its implementation, the project targeted three million smallholder farmers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. COMRAP was implemented by the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA).
DONOR: The European Union Food Facility Program
- Strengthening Trade at the Regional Level in Agricultural Inputs in Africa (STAR), 2007-2010
The STAR project promoted food security and agricultural growth through improved regional trade along eastern and southern Africa’s entire agricultural vale chain. The project improved market access for agro-dealers and smallholder farmers. This included better access to quality inputs and advanced technologies along with improved market linkages, local and regional agricultural policy reforms and greater involvement of agricultural enterprises.
DONOR: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
IFDC Develops Sustainable Value Chains and Increases Profitable Agriculture in West Africa (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No. 4)
IFDC Core Competency: Gender Equity is Key to Feeding the Hungry (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No. 4)
WACIP Extended into 2012 and IFPRI and IFDC Study the Condition of Fertilizer Markets in West Afric (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No. 2)
Improving Charcoal Production (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No. 4)
New Agro-Dealer Development Project:COMESA Regional Agricultural Inputs Program (COMRAP)(Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No. 3)
CATALIST Project Marks Accomplishment in 2009(Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No. 1)
CATALIST Road Rehabilitation: An IFDC/Helpage Partnership (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No. 1)
Television News Coverage - Signing of MoU (English)
Television News Coverage - Signing of MoU (French)
News Coverage - Signing of MoU (Kinyarwanda)
Inventory Credit System - English Captions
Inventory Credit System - French Captions