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Burundian agriculture and livestock, the cornerstone of the national and family economy

ByWebmaster

Mar 21, 2024

BUJUMBURA March 21st (ABP) – The Burundi Development Agency (ADB), organized on March 20, 2024, a workshop on agriculture and livestock breeding with high added value (horticulture and fish farming), for the identification of priority sectoral reforms.

In his remarks, the Director General of the ADB, Dr. Reverien Nizigiyimana, indicated that improving the business climate remains one of the major priorities of the government of Burundi. That has created conditions conducive to socio-economic development and is committed to cleaning up the investment climate through the initiation of certain reforms.

According to him, these reforms aim to support the major project initiated by the Government to make the private sector the lever of economic development and different investment sectors need reforms. Mr. Nizigiyimana, to that end, declared that Burundian agriculture and livestock breeding are the cornerstone of the national and family economy, and remain the source of growth of other sectors of national life. He added that to achieve the national vision of the President of the Republic of an emerging country in 2040 and a developed country in 2060, it is necessary to develop agriculture that creates wealth and guarantees food security. It is therefore important to ensure the conditions necessary for the development of an agriculture which contributes to industrialization which provides jobs and prosperity, an agriculture which is a vector of attractiveness for investors. The same is true of livestock breeding which goes hand in hand with agriculture, he pointed out.

The advisor to the general directorate of horticulture (Branch of agriculture including the cultivation of vegetables, flowers, fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs) at the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture and Agriculture breeding, Eliakim Sakayoya who presented on: “Current challenges limiting the development of the horticulture sector in Burundi, noted that horticulture includes different categories of species, namely fruit species, market garden species, mushrooms , flowers, condiments, essential oil plants and medicinal plants.

Mr. Sakayoya indicated that horticultural production in Burundi benefits from a favourable climate and fertile lands which deserve to be revitalized by increasing the sales of products on local, regional and international markets, with an effect on reducing poverty in the country through the creation of quality jobs and additional income for producers.

Speaking about the strengths of horticulture at the commercial level, he cited that that sector really contributes to the economic activity of the country and ranks fourth in agricultural production in monetary value. Burundian horticulture also has many assets to capture market share in the export sector, thus generating foreign exchange earnings and it provides a response to Burundian nutritional challenges. Horticultural crops can be a solution to maximize profit on a small cultivable area, he announced.

                                                                        View of the participants

 

Mr. Sakayoya cited some major challenges facing the horticulture sector. These include the insufficiency of planting material and good quality seeds, the low capacity of technical support services for the development of horticulture in its diversity, unsuitable marketing and distribution networks, inadequate transportation and storage facilities as well as low productivity and high production costs.

To meet these challenges, he proposed solutions including research on all aspects of horticultural crops and strengthening it to ensure introductions of plant material and the development of agricultural technologies at the level of ISABU, setting up horticultural sections in technical schools of agriculture and a horticultural department at FABI at the University of Burundi, to legalize quality control on local markets.

Concerning the fish farming sector, the director of fish farming in the ELANA company, Jean de Dieu Niyimpaye who presented on “the opportunities, challenges and reforms in fish farming in Burundi”, indicated the opportunities for the development of fish farming. He specified that Burundi has a dense hydrographic network and a stable hydrological regime, the fish market: high needs for food and animal proteins at the local level, the possibility of exporting fishery products to the countries of the sub-region and elsewhere, the existence of agricultural products and by-products that can be used in the manufacture of fish feed.

Mr. Niyimpaye did not fail to point out some challenges observed in that sector, notably the lack of competitiveness of current production systems following the unavailability and difficult access, the absence of legislation and professionalization in the sub-sector. -sector which is explained by the lack of specific laws/regulations governing aquaculture in Burundi, the absence or very few viable professional operators in the field and the lack of updated data.

Mr. Niyimpaye revealed the reforms planned in that sector, namely improving the efficiency of production systems, improving support services and improving the management of the sector. In the implementation of these reforms, he noted that the government should initially play the role of facilitator, initiator, incentive and promoter of investments and the private sector should follow and support government efforts in the development of the sub-sector.