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Agro pastoralism, pillar of sustainable development in Burundi.

publie le mardi 23 novembre 2021
parCommunication and Spokesperson’s Office

With more than 85% of practitioners, agriculture and livestock have always been the main activity in Burundi. But it was only for subsistence because the population only produced for consumption. With the year 2018, it was a divine revelation. Agriculture and livestock, practiced in a modern way, is now the pillar of sustainable development in Burundi.

This was therefore one of the topics addressed by the Right Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly during the November 2021 parliamentary recess in the Muramvya and Mwaro provinces. Indeed, according to the Right Honorable Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe, agro-pastoralism must enhance production to support other sectors of national life. Agriculture and livestock farming, practiced in a contemporary way, will strongly contribute to the mitigation of the country’s deficit and the national debt as well as to the revaluation of the Burundian currency.

This policy of promoting agro-pastoralism as a pillar of the country’s development influences the functioning of the country’s institutions. Thus, Home Affairs Minister, also in charge of community development, must take care of territory administration ; this presupposes the organization of the population at the level of the hills, the availability of arable land and block cultivation. As for the Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, he is responsible for instilling in the population modern agricultural techniques in order to boost production.

With this policy of promoting agriculture and livestock, the government is in the process of supporting the Institute of Agronomic Sciences of Burundi (IASBU) much more, as the Right Honorable Speaker of National Assembly has observed during his visit to the IASBU research center in Gisozi in Mwaro province. With 2 billion BIF of additional funds this year on annual budget, the government wants to accomplish the aspiration of His Excellency the President of the Republic to make IASBU, a seed industry.

For more performance, IASBU Gisozi has just assimilated a larger laboratory which allows the manufacturing of 100,000 vitroplants per day, with a capacity to produce 400,000 vitroplants per day, unlike the old laboratory which could not contain only 90,000 vitroplants. With 52 bean varieties already approved, IASBU Gisozi is also conducting in-depth research on potatoes and certain cereals such as wheat and barley, not to mention some indigenous medicinal species such as nettle dioica (igisuru ) and vernonia amygdalina (Umubirizi). A meticulous, sensitive work that requires significant Financial resources.

Despite this considerable progress, IASBU Gisozi nevertheless faces some challenges such as scant of experimental greenhouses and storage warehouse for selected seeds, the shortage of sufficient staff and the repeated power cut which causes losses to the laboratory as well as the challenges related to autonomous management because it happens that IASBU needs a quick intervention but everything has to go through public procurement, which makes the process longer.

For the President of the National Assembly the Right Honorable Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe, this IASBU Gisozi research center is the heart of the country in terms of agriculture and livestock. Everything that the population consumes has its base within this center. It therefore needs to be strongly supported, especially by sufficient financial means and experts. And he invites the Minister of Finance to visit this center to realize the financial challenges and other issues it faces for solutions.

Still within the context of encouraging agro-pastoralists who have internalized the government policy based on agro-pastoralism, the Right Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly visited, in Muramvya province, a modern and businessman Jean Baptiste Simbare, who owns a farm with 62 modern head of cattle, with a production of 420 liters per day. This farm has a system for collecting, processing and transporting cow dung to the fields, which improves agricultural production.

The Right Honorable Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe greatly welcomed this initiative and asked the owner of this farm to unveil these experiences through compiled books so that current and future generations can be inspired by them. ’’With the current pace, in 3 or 5 years, the image of the country will have changed a lot’’, promises the Right Honorable Ndabirabe.

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