BUJUMBURA June 26th (ABP) – The Cabinet met on Wednesday June 24, 2021 in Ntare Rushatsi House under the chairmanship of the Head of State, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, with nine items on the agenda including the draft decree establishing the Multisectoral Steering Committee (CPM) of the project relating to early childhood and demographic control known as the “Nkuriza project”.
According to the press release, the project relating to early childhood and demographic control (Nkuriza) is a project of the government of Burundi which is financed by the World Bank and whose financing agreement was signed by both parties on November 19, 2020.
The goal of the project is to extend the coverage of community nutrition interventions to women of childbearing age and children under two years of age, and the use of family planning services in its intervention areas namely the provinces of Bubanza, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Kirundo, Makamba and Muyinga.
In the financing agreement, the bill implementation modalities are provided for, in particular, the various bodies responsible for its implementation, including the CPM. That draft decree implements what is provided for in that agreement.
After discussion and debate on that bill, the Cabinet passed it with, among other recommendations, to make that text an Ordinance of the Prime Minister instead of a decree, and the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS as the chairman of the Steering Committee while the Minister of National Solidarity is part of the Committee, and a provision should be made in connection with the technical committee which will be set up by ordinance of the Minister in charge of health.
It was recalled that the government must participate in the development of projects financed by partners from their conception, closely monitor their implementation and assess their impact at the development level.
Among the files analyzed by the Cabinet is also a concept note on the insurance and subsidization of agricultural loans. According to the press release, in order to increase agricultural production and alleviate the food deficit, the government of Burundi has made the agricultural sector one of the basic sectors of development.
The goal is that “every mouth should have food and every pocket money.” In that perspective, several programs have been implemented and certain crops reorganized into sectors.
In addition to those actions, the government has set up mechanisms to encourage the people to invest in increasing production, in particular the granting of 10 million BIF per cooperative, the establishment of collection mechanisms and purchase of agricultural products and others.
The press release said that the year 2020 saw the inception of a bank and an insurance company promoting agriculture, which presents opportunities to develop the agricultural sector. For the 2020/2021 fiscal year, the government has budgeted to finance the agricultural sector through the agricultural guarantee, as well as a security and rural development fund.
The note proposes ways and means for the effective use of that budget provided for by those two mechanisms in order to face climate change, disease and pest attacks without forgetting the encouragement of banks to finance the agricultural sector, thanks to the assumption of responsibility for major agricultural risks.
According to the press release, there are three options to facilitate the financing of the agricultural sector; these are the establishment of an agricultural guarantee fund, the establishment of agricultural insurance and the establishment of a bonus fund.
The note proposes the combination of the three options for more impact. After analyzing the proposal as well as the advantages offered by those different options, the Cabinet retained the option of the agricultural guarantee and that farmers with at least two hectares should be supervised by granting them seeds and fertilizers on loan to be paid off after selling their production.
The State will also guarantee loan and the funds will be housed at the level of the Impulse, Guarantee and Support Fund (FIGA), agricultural insurance will be taken out by the farmer himself and the people should be sensitized on the interest of that program, the need to regroup the land as well as the added value that this brings. Other crops, such as wheat, should be taken into account in that program. The press release indicates that the ministers in charge of agriculture and finance will refine the design and implementation of that program.