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Country Highlights

Burundi: Agricultural Prosperity

Agriculture in Burundi plays a vital role in the country’s economy, with over 80% of citizens engaged in subsistence farming and livestock activities. The nation’s agriculture sector faces challenges such as decreasing fertile land availability due to high population growth, recurrent droughts, and the adverse impact of past conflicts on agricultural productivity. Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition affect a significant portion of the population, with 43% experiencing food insecurity and 8% facing acute chronic food insecurity. Climate change exacerbates these challenges, impacting agricultural output and food security.

The country heavily relies on family farming, which provides 95% of the food supply but falls short of meeting nutritional needs. Despite an average landholding size of 0.5 hectares per household, agricultural production only covers about 65% of food requirements, leading to a dependence on food imports. Burundians consume a diet high in tubers but lacking in protein and fat-rich foods, resulting in significant micro-nutrient deficits.

Efforts by organizations like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) aim to support rural communities in Burundi. IFAD has been assisting the country since 1980, focusing on social development, cohesion, and peacebuilding initiatives. Projects by IFAD promote rural communities’ ownership of social capital reconstruction and productive experiences to combat malnutrition and improve food security sustainably.

Additionally, initiatives by organizations like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are crucial in enhancing agricultural sustainability and efficiency in Burundi. These efforts include promoting sustainable intensification, diversification, and community-driven awareness programs to address food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. USAID has been instrumental in raising rural incomes, diversifying economic opportunities, strengthening value chains, and supporting reforms to enhance agricultural trade within the East African Community.

In conclusion, collaborative efforts by international organizations alongside local initiatives are essential to address the complex challenges faced by Burundi’s agriculture sector. By focusing on sustainable practices, community engagement, and innovative solutions, progress can be made towards improving food security, reducing malnutrition, and enhancing agricultural productivity in the country.

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