Stabilising rural Burundi
In the high mountains of central Africa, Burundi is confronted with the daunting challenge of feeding a rapidly growing population.
Burundi’s population is expected to rise from around 8.5 million today to 13 million in 2025.
Demographic pressure is exacerbated by a massive return of refugees since peace was re-established in 2005.
Since 1993, when civil war broke out, agricultural production has fallen by more than half. Over 6 out of 10 people are undernourished.
Peace in Burundi, where most people depend on agriculture, can be consolidated by stabilizing the rural communities, says FAO.
FAO is carrying out agricultural rehabilitation activities valued at around $60 million, targeting 1 250 000 people over a period of two years.
Their objective is to get more out of Burundi’s fragmented smallholdings, for instance by making quality seeds of high-yielding crops available.
In northern Burundi,
1 500 farmers are rehabilitating 100 hectares of land for rice production, enough to feed them and their families for one month.
Another way to boost production is by working together. It helps farmers to generate income, and move away from subsistence farming.
Cooperation also fosters strengthened human relations – a powerful instrument to avoid conflict.
Many returnees cannot get back the land they left behind. Bosco Nzambimana found a place in a settlement built by the government.
FAO provides training to help him grow food. Today, students learn about plant diseases and how to treat them.
“If people in Burundi have enough to eat, war will not come back,” says Bosco Nzambimana.
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FAO in partnership with the European Commission and the Government of Burundi
Photos: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Reportage: Maarten Roest
Production: Communication Division, FAO
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.