Burundi, a largely agricultural country, is slowly recovering from a 15-year conflict that left over 300 000 people dead. More than 80 percent of the population lives on less than USD 1.25 a day and half suffers from chronic malnutrition. Agricultural production, though almost up to pre-war levels, falls short of the food needs in this rapidly growing country. FAO aims to turn this around by promoting efficient land and water management and helping the country move beyond subsistence farming.

Toward a market-based economy

FAO is helping the country transition to a more market-oriented agricultural economy, encouraging farmers to grow more and varied crops, especially ones like banana and coffee that have good export potential. FAO is supporting agroprocessing and value chain development so that farmers can increase the consumer appeal and value of their produce and market their goods effectively. FAO is also building storage facilities to stem post-harvest losses.

Managing natural resources, reducing vulnerability

Burundian farmers have to grapple with torrential rains, hailstorms and drought as well as eroded soils, pests and plant disease, which can make growing crops tricky. The war left much of the country’s farming infrastructure in ruins. FAO is supporting the Government’s efforts to promote a more efficient use of the country’s water and land resources, helping to rehabilitate marshlands and irrigation canals as well as farmland roads for better access. It is also ramping up food security monitoring, early warning systems, vulnerability mapping and surveillance of transboundary pests and diseases like cassava mosaic and Avian Influenza. These activities to reduce disaster risk are carried out through the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification and a food security early warning system and bulletin.

Expanding income opportunities

Most of the country’s farmers have tiny plots of land, growing just enough to feed their families. Many struggle to do even that. Land scarcity is a big issue, especially with the return of around half a million refugees and the country’s fast-paced population growth. Women widowed during the war, and orphaned children taking care of their families generally have limited access to productive resources and basic services. FAO is working to provide vulnerable people, especially those in densely populated areas, with more opportunities to produce food and earn money. By providing hands-on training through farmer field schools and ramping up agricultural production through such things as raising goats and producing eggs – activities that require little land – FAO hopes to improve food security and reduce land conflicts that could destabilize the country’s relative peace.


More about the country

 - In the context of increasing humanitarian crises, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme are committed, alongside Member States, ...read more
 - To strengthen communities’ resilience and ability to adequately prepare for and respond to shocks and crises through the production of updated data and analysis on food ...read more
 -  to assist 77 000 people FAO requires USD 8 million period January – December 2018                                 Political, security and related humanitarian conditions in Burundi aren’t expected to improve and will lead to a ...read more
 -  to assist 600 000 people FAO requires USD 7 million period January – December 2018                                 The crisis that has been affecting Burundi since 2015 has worsened the humanitarian situation in the country ...read more
 - With conflict and climate-related shocks sending global hunger numbers marching back up after declining for decades, FAO is asking for $1.06 billion to save lives and livelihoods and ...read more
 - Réduire l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et accroître la résilience des populations rurales vulnérables dans la province de Cankuzo.
 - The number of people displaced by conflict, violence and disasters has risen to more than 65 million, compared with 37.5 million a decade ago. Many of ...read more
 - Contribuer à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et les moyens d’existence des ménages ruraux affectés par le conflit sociopolitique et les aléas climatiques dans les provinces de ...read more
 - Globally, 108 million people in 2016 were reported to be facing Crisis level food insecurity or worse (IPC Phase 3 and above). This represents a 35 ...read more
 - Key points An estimated 90 000 people were affected by El Niño (heavy rains, strong winds, floods and landslides) in late 2015 and early 2016, and now ...read more