GITEGA March 28th (ABP) – The advisor to the Governor of Gitega in charge of administration and finance, Mrs. Marie Nindemera proceeded, on Wednesday March 23, 2022, to the official opening of a self-assessment workshop for the project support for financial, agricultural and rural inclusion in Burundi (PAIFAR-B) of the ministry in charge of agriculture and livestock for the 2021-2022 financial year and planning of future activities of the said project for the fiscal year 2022-2023 in the central region of the country for the beneficiaries and partners of this project.
The coordinator of the PAIFAR-B project in the central region of the country (Gitega, Karusi and Muramvya), Mr. Jean Mariro, said that the said project has already produced positive effects among the beneficiaries, taking into account the presentation of the results report. and beneficiary testimonials. According to him, the latter have improved the standard of living of their families in terms of housing, the acquisition of property, the schooling of children, their health care, food and others.
A beneficiary of the PAIFAR-B project and member of the Duterintambwe cooperative of the Bugendana commune, Mrs. Marie Fébronie Kwizerimana, testified that the members of that cooperative have already recorded a better improvement in their families thanks to the PAIFAR-B project.
She also added that the interest rate on the amount contracted with COOPEC has been reduced compared to what their cooperatives were paying before joining this project.
As for the head of the shigikirumurimyi cooperative of Cishwa village in Bugendana commune, Mr. Antoine Manirakiza, their cooperative has made significant progress thanks to the PAIFAR-B project because, according to him, before joining that project, they exploited 15 hectares with a production of less than 15 tons of hybrid maize, but that currently they exploit about 100 hectares and estimate to have a production of 100 tons of maize on 24 hectares.
The coordinator of the PAIFAR-B project in the central region of the country also pointed out that the PAIFAR-B project experienced certain constraints, in particular related to the financial resources which were disbursed in dribs and drabs, which did not allow sufficient work or arrive on the ground to accompany their beneficiaries. According to him, there was also a problem related to the poor sale of stocks for the cooperatives benefiting from commercial credit. The prices have hardly budged on the beans, which has caused, according to him, unpaid bills at the level of these cooperatives and reduced the credibility at the level of the partner microfinance institutions. To overcome certain challenges, Mr. Mariro also indicated that the guides and agents of microfinance institutions organize financial education sessions for the beneficiaries of the credits. These bodies make them aware of opening accounts, saving and developing promising micro-projects in order to be able to take out loans.
As for the administrative and financial manager of the PAIFAR-B project, Mrs. Céline Niyonkuru, that project works closely with the Twitezimbere association, which is responsible for carrying out cotching and monitoring to supervise these agro-pastoral cooperatives to use these means contracted for microfinance at purposes prepared and validated by the project. Mrs. Niyonkuru reassured that the PAIFAR-B project has found that some cooperatives that make the circuit of the currency in particular suffer huge losses and others divert these funds to use them for other purposes.
According to her, PAIFAR-B is no longer a bank to pay for them. She added that in the event of non-reimbursement, the microfinance will be able to seize the PAIFAR-B project just for support, but not to pay these arrears, because, she said, it is up to the microfinance to make the recovery. This idea was taken up by the coordinator of the PAIFAR-B project in the central region of the country. He said that microfinance supervises these beneficiaries since the development of these micro-projects, during the management of the credit and during its repayment. He pointed out that at the level of microfinance institutions, there are agents who directly follow the solidarity guarantee groups by training them on financial education, how they can guarantee each other mutually (solidarity guarantee) and how they can go up to level of the credit ceiling to contact to be able to always be credible to repay easily.