RUTANA November 9th (ABP) – A 34-year-old farmer named Jean Claude Nkurunziza is a producer of selected seeds, certified by the National Certification Office for Selected Seeds (ONCSS). He lives on the Nyarugusye sub-hill, Bugiga hill, in Bukemba commune of Rutana province (south-eastern Burundi).
He did not go to higher education because his school career ended in eighth grade. Yet, when asked about his work, he gives answers that seem highly technical to a layman.
He started that work 4 years ago, under the supervision of the NGO called PROVAPA-Tugwizakazi. He works as a seed producer on a family property of 15 hectares, but the cultivated area is 13 hectares.
It produces hybrid corn pre-bases and corn and bean bases.
Last year, he produced 21 tons of beans and had, after sorting, 19 tons of beans from selected seeds of two varieties certified by ONCSS. For maize, he had 19,490 tons and was able to have, after sorting, 15,680 tons of selected seeds.
Apart from the corn and beans that he produces on his property, he has planted banana trees, cocoyams, while on the contour lines drawn to fight against erosion, there are planted fodder grasses that allow him to feed his two improved breed cows, one of which gives him 12 liters of milk per day.
Regarding the problems facing this farmer, he mentioned the lack of phytosanitary products. Mr. Nkurunziza said that in the past, the Provincial Office of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock (BPEAE) brought these products through the phytosanitary inspector who arranged and bought his products, and resold them at a slightly higher price to recover the used ticket. But since phytosanitary inspectors were prevented from adding any rounds on the price that the department with plant protection practices, inspectors who used their own funds have been discouraged, according to the head of the plant production department at BPEAE, which indicates that farmers are forced to go to Gitega to buy those products. What is incomprehensible is that the department does not sell them those products in the required quantity, especially for the product called Orthene, according to Mr. Nkurunziza.
However, that seed producer says that in any case, he could not give up that job which supports him and several other families around him, especially since he employs more than 40 people a day. He began to exercise that work as a seed producer with a working capital of 2,000,000 BIF and some 10 cows of local breeds.