Africa: Burundian Farmers Celebrate Great Yields Thanks To African Development Bank Support
BURUNDIAN farmers told visiting government officials and African Development representatives that they are delighted with the year’s great yields thanks to the hybrid, climate-resilient seeds and multi -strand support that has been provided by the Bank.
Several cooperative members expressed their satisfaction. Marie-Thérèse Nahabaganwa, chair of the Tsindinzara (Combating Hunger in Kirundi) cooperative that works 200 hectares in the Muhara and Kagera–Ruhohera valleys, reported that her cooperative received from six tonnes of hybrid maize seeds, agricultural inputs and technical support. She expects a yield of 800 tonnes of maize, or 4 tonnes per hectare. “We owe all these exceptional yields to the efforts of our local government combined with support from projects financed by the African Development Bank,” said Ms Nahabaganwa.
Other cooperative members also benefited. Willy Ndoricimpa, a member of the cooperative, was particularly appreciative of the awareness sessions that had been held on land release. “We didn’t initially think that we’d be able to make a profit by pooling our portions of land. But now we feel more than satisfied because, well, my share of the harvest will be 500 kilogrammes, unlike before when I barely harvested 50 kilos of maize.” Mr Ndoricimpa went on to say that he would use part of his harvest to feed his family and would sell another part to increase his heads of livestock.
“We have come to congratulate you on agreeing to pool your land,” said Emmanuel Niyungeko, Permanent Secretary of the Burundian Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock. The harvest you have just made is totally in line with the government’s vision of increasing agricultural production so that every mouth has food, and every pocket has money.” Mr Niyungeko paid tribute to the cooperative’s members, who had followed the advice of the agricultural advisers and pooled their land.
The ministerial secretary, project managers and the African Development Bank visited the provinces of Kayanza and Kirundo from 2-5 January 2024 to see the results of projects funded by the Bank and observed the maize harvest in projects that had provided seeds.
To strengthen Burundi’s food security and nutrition, the African Development Bank has set up the Burundian Agriculture and Livestock Value Chains Sustainable Development Support Project and the Emergency Agricultural Production Project in Burundi.
In August 2023, under the second of these projects, 571 tonnes of selected hybrid maize seeds were provided to 195,000 households belonging to cooperatives in 14 provinces of the country including Kayanza and Kirundo. In addition to the technical support that has greatly revolutionized the agricultural sector in this northern region, the project has also developed marshlands for farmers.
In July 2022, the Bank granted Burundi $5.4 million to fund the Emergency Agricultural Production Project launched as part of the African Emergency Food Production Facility (https://apo-opa.co/47OiWrC) set up by the Bank to avert a food crisis in Africa due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. With its provision of $1.5 billion, the Facility provided agricultural seeds — wheat, rice, maize, soybeans — to 20 million African farmers to produce an additional 38 million tonnes of food in two years.