16 March 2017

Burundi: Govt Receives U.S.$ 25 Million to Improve Food Security

The International Development Association (IDA) through the World Bank has provided additional funding of US $ 25 million to Burundi. On 16 March, the Burundi National Assembly has adopted the release of that funding which will be used in the implementation of the Productivity and Agricultural Markets Development Project (PRODEMA).

This project to improve food security and nutritional value will be funded as an investment grant equivalent to US $ 25 million from the International Development Association (IDA) through the World Bank. The project will be implemented over a two-year period from 2017 to 2019. "This project aims to improve the productivity of smallholders and their access to the market. It will be implemented from April 2017, "says Déo-Guide Rurema, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

To achieve this goal, he says the project will rehabilitate irrigation infrastructure to cope with climate change, strengthen producers' capacities and the relations with their partners to facilitate the access to the market.

The project will cover 10 provinces, namely Bubanza, Bururi, Cankuzo, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi and Rutana.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock says the beneficiaries of this project are small scale producers, agricultural contractors, food processors and sellers. "Only beneficiaries grouped into associations or cooperatives will be eligible for project grants," said Rurema. He also said the project would provide the funding for nearly 27,000 families, representing roughly 138,000 people.

"The environmental aspect must be taken into account while implementing the project"

Gabriel Rufyiri, Chairman of the Corruption and Economic Embezzlement Center (OLUCOME), calls on the Burundian Government to be rigorous in managing these funds. "Burundi is facing famine because of the country's economic crisis and climate change. It is necessary to take into account the environmental aspect to achieve PRODEMA objective", says Rufyiri. He also says the introduction of the irrigation system is very important to cope with climate change.

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