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May 18, 2009

IFAD provides Burundi with US$13.57 million for agricultural recovery

The lives and livelihoods of poor rural people in Burundi are set to change for the better thanks to a US$13.57 million grant from IFAD to the Republic of Burundi for the Agricultural Intensification and Value-enhancing Support Project.

The grant agreement was signed in May in Rome by LĂ©opold Ndayisaba, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi to IFAD, and the Assistant President, Finance and Administration Department of IFAD, Jessie Rose Mabutas.

...the average farm size is shrinking, the soil is rapidly becoming degraded and nearly all public land has been distributed or occupied. Food insecurity and malnutrition are becoming chronic for many households. A growing population and the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees have taken a heavy toll on land in Burundi. Population density in some areas exceeds 500 people per km.

The IFAD supported-project will directly reach 30,000 family farms and indirectly 60,000 farming families in the targeted provinces. Under local public-private partnerships, agricultural inputs, service suppliers and merchants will also benefit.

The main target group will be hillside farmers with less than 1 hectare of land and much of the work will involve developing 1620 hectares of new marshlands and rehabilitating a similar sized area in a sustainable manner. The project will help to increase the yields of rice and other food crops, boost the income of poor farmers, improve their food security and nutrition, enhance the status of women and allow producers’ organizations better market access.

To date IFAD has funded eight rural development projects in Burundi for more than US$100 million, excluding other grants provided within the Fund’s post-conflict support mechanism.


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