BUJUMBURA MARCH 24th (ABP) – The NGO Help Channel Burundi is promoting innovative agro-pastoral techniques that can help increase household agricultural production and improve crop management, the country director of the NGO, Mr. Cassien Ndikuriyo, told a check by ABP on Tuesday.
Those innovative techniques are developed through the project called “Ikigega Iwacu”, which is implemented in the provinces of Kirundo, Rutana, Makamba and Bururi. This project, which extends over a period of 5 years, is implemented in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Canadian Foods Grains Bank (CFGB), which are Christian organizations of Canada and the United States of America.
Help Channel Burundi hopes that with the implementation of that project, all beneficiaries can have food and a surplus to sell in order to meet their needs. Currently, this project supports 1,440 households, or nearly 7,200 beneficiaries.
Mr. Ndikuriyo specified that three pillars of the project have been retained. These include increasing production using innovative agricultural techniques, increasing women’s participation in decision-making and post-harvest management techniques.
Those techniques, which are being popularized, are known as “conservation agriculture” and relate, among other things, to covering the soil using the mulching technique, planting cover plants such as plant species known as names “mukuna and lab lab”, the minimum plowing of the soil which helps to preserve the micro-organisms favoring the fertilization of the soil as well as the crop rotation.
As for the component related to the increase in women’s participation in decision-making, it essentially concerns their place in the management of family income, including that from harvests, the sensitization of men and women for the change of attitudes in favor of good management and family harmony.
Regarding post-harvest management techniques, Mr. Ndikuriyo says that they help project beneficiaries minimize losses during harvest, improve harvest preservation techniques and consume responsibly. Thus, Help Channel Burundi will build community granaries whose management will be transferred to community cooperatives.
That NGO encourages the decentralized structures of the ministry in charge of agriculture to contribute to sensitizing the people for effective and large-scale adherence to those innovative farming techniques provided by the project.
The country director of Help Channel Burundi says this after noticing that in general, the beneficiaries tend to abandon the techniques popularized by the various projects, after their closures. The NGO Help Channel is nevertheless delighted with the support of the government of Burundi through the dynamics of the cooperative movement, which is an appropriate channel for the sustainability of the project’s achievements. Created in 2003, the NGO Help Channel operates in Burundi and DR Congo in several sectors, namely food security, environmental protection, and support for vulnerable communities in general. In Burundi, its interventions cover the provinces of Bururi, Muyinga, Ngozi, Rutana, Makamba Kirundo, Bujumbura and Cibitoke.