Rome, 19 September 2014 – The government of the Republic of Burundi and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a US$1 million grant agreement for the Burundi National Programme for Food Security and Rural Development programme that will strengthen food security and rural development in the regions of Imbo and Moso.
With a total cost of $57.9 million, the programme is funded through a $30-million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme managed by IFAD, a $20-million loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, and a contribution from the government of Burundi. The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Odette Kayitesi, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Burundi, and by Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD.
Despite positive economic growth over the past decade, the incidence of poverty persists in Burundi. Chronic malnutrition affects 58 per cent of children under five years of age and the hunger index stood at 38.8 per cent in 2013. In addition, although 90 per cent of the population depends on agriculture, investment in agricultural remains low – from two per cent in 2010 to seven per cent in 2011 and 11 per cent in 2012.
The new National programme for Food Security and Rural Development is designed to help 225,000 rural people by reinforcing hydro-agricultural infrastructure and opening up access to production areas. The programme will also develop and organize rice and dairy value chains; support the diversification of production and improve nutritional condition of the communities; and build the institutional capacity among those in the agricultural sector who are engaged in value chains.
It is estimated that at least 50 per cent of the beneficiaries will be women and 30 per cent young people, in particular, young orphans. In addition, it is expected that investments in the programme will help create jobs at husking units, mini mills and in milk collection centres.
The programme will be managed by Burundi's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. By the end of this six-year programme, it is expected that the development and rehabilitation of 2,470 hectares of marshland and plains will increase rice production to nearly 5,000 tonnes per year. Furthermore, the distribution of dairy cows and heifers will increase the quantity of milk for self-consumption, processing and marketing by 17,500 litres per year respectively.
Since 1979, IFAD has invested a total of $148.6 million in 10 programmes and projects in Burundi, amounting to $430.8million when cofinancing is included. It is estimated 496,820 families have benefit from these efforts.