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The Minister in charge of Agriculture has met the people of Rumonge

ByWebmaster

Feb 13, 2023

RUMONGE February 13th (ABP) – The Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Sanctus Niragira, met on Thursday, February 9, the people of Rumonge province to listen to their concerns.

In his welcoming address, the Governor of Rumonge, Léonard Niyonsaba, commended the projects underway at the provincial level so that the agricultural sector contributes to the development of the province in particular and of the country in general. He cited, among others, the oil palm replacement project, with 4,500 ha of old oil palm trees already being replaced. He also praised the good collaboration between the administration, the Burundi Environmental Protection Authority (OBPE) and the defense and security bodies in the implementation of the “Ewe Burundi Urambaye” project.

However, he deplored that the agricultural sector in Rumonge province is experiencing difficulties as shown by the report provided by officials of the same sector. These are linked to the non-replacement, since 2015, of staff who have retired, died or those who resigned.

According to the same report, Mr. Niyonsaba specified that 19 employees are lacking in that sector. This constitutes, he added, an obstacle to properly supervise the farmers. Other questions addressed to the minister responsible for agriculture and environment related to the lack of seeds of the various crops, the lack of transport fare for the agricultural technicians in order to facilitate their task of supervising the farmers. Another question was related to the property of 910 ha occupied by the people after the closure of the Agricultural Intensification Project of the Rumonge, Burambi and Buyengero communes (PIA RUBUBU) as well as the question of compensation for the owners of the plots where Rukinga military camp has been established.

Before reacting to the questions asked, Minister Niragira first showed the contribution of the agricultural sector in the development of the country and in the daily life of the population. According to him, that sector is considered as a driving force that can push the population towards sustainable development. He explained that the agricultural sector feeds more than 90% of the Burundian population, provides about 40% of foreign currency and also contributes 80% of GDP per year. Thus, he called on the people not to neglect that sector, pointing out that at the level of the ministry, a lot of initiatives are being carried out to maintain arable land.

Concerning the problem related to the lack of seeds, he specified that the ministry of agriculture spares no effort for the moment so that the ISABU becomes a seed industry in order to provide those seeds to the multipliers. Also, the ministry plans that the offices responsible for agriculture (BPEAEs) be provided with a seed multiplication service to make it easier for farmers to obtain them but also to promote cultivation in the microclimate.

For the non-replacement of staff, Minister Niragira said that this problem is known and generalized in all the provinces and specified that it is a question which is being dealt with. For the 910 ha of PIA RUBUBU occupied by the people while a ministerial ordinance returning that area to the State was issued in 2009, the minister promised that he would consult the ministries concerned to set up a commission which could give directions.