BUJUMBURA April 28th (ABP) – The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Domitien Ndihokubwayo and the Regional Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in charge of the Eastern and Southern Africa Division, Mrs. Sara Mbago Bhunu, signed and exchanged on Wednesday April 27, 2022, in Bujumbura, the financing agreement worth more than 53 million US dollars including a concessionary loan of 10.7 million dollars for the new rural entrepreneurship development program (PRODER), a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
The Minister in charge of Economic Planning has indicated that the project targeted by that funding aims to contribute to poverty reduction, improving nutrition and food security in rural communities.
Minister Ndihokubwayo added that the development objective pursued is to promote youth entrepreneurship in an equitable and inclusive manner as well as an environment conducive to the development of agro-pastoral enterprises and to strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable rural populations.
Indeed, through line of intervention No. 1 of its national development plan (2018-2027), Burundi is stepping up its efforts in the development of agriculture, livestock and food security. That is how the agricultural sector is now the main priority of the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, and is close to the heart of the government as a whole through the slogan stipulating that every mouth has something to eat and every pocket have money, underlined the minister having finances in his attributions.
Despite IFAD’s various interventions, the challenges are not lacking in terms of the needs of the agriculture, food security and youth entrepreneurship sectors, noted Minister Ndihokubwayo. To this end, he called on the various stakeholders in those sectors to mobilize more resources to support the government’s efforts to fully support the resilience of value chains and poverty reduction approaches.
He also pointed out that, in addition to the provinces of Bubanza, Cibitoke, Muramvya, Rutana, Ruyigi, Karusi, Kayanza, Gitega and Muyinga where IFAD is already involved, particularly through PIPARV-B and PAIFAR-B, PRODER will also intervene in two other provinces, namely Makamba and Bururi, in order to continue capitalizing on IFAD’s program approach in Burundi, which will make it possible to reach a total of 85,000 households.
According to the Minister in charge of Finance, the government’s aim is to extend the interventions to the remaining provinces. “This will improve the living conditions of Burundians, food self-sufficiency, the nutritional situation of children and the employability of young people”, he underlined before renewing his gratitude to IFAD, which is, for more than four decades, one of the main development partners of Burundi.
The regional director of IFAD, meanwhile, said that the said project does not only target small agricultural producers, but it also targets small and medium-sized enterprises without forgetting the capacity building of young people and women.
Mrs. Sara Mbago took the opportunity to invite United Nations agencies, private individuals working in Burundi, service providers and donors to work together for the effective implementation of that program.