“Given the importance of this sector, the government will focus on four key areas to develop agriculture and improve social protection for farmers,” Burundi’s Agriculture Minister Deo Guide Rurema said recently.

The four areas include increasing the yield, adopting mechanized farming, training and organizing farmers as well as organizing the entire agricultural value chain.

The first area will require a continuation of the subsidy policy for agricultural chemicals to restore soil fertility and fight against acidity. It will also include subsidies for inputs to improve production and promote participatory research.

“We shall also continue with the policy of increasing livestock through use of community cooperative societies and see ways and means of putting in place a financing plan for production systems,” Rurema said.

For the second area, it will require investment in mechanised and environmental friendly agriculture, continued construction of irrigation dams and continued protection of farmlands for agricultural purposes.

The third area that aims at training and organizing farmers will require adopting policies that offer better prices for farmers, besides initiating training programs targeting women and youth.

The fourth area will require establishment of community granaries as well as adopting modern conservation techniques for agricultural products.

For the fourth area to be successful, the minister promised to support formation of cooperative groups to properly map out markets for agricultural products.

Rurema urged the youth, especially degree holders and private sector actors, to invest more in agriculture to help the country overcome the challenge of food shortage as well as poor quality of agricultural produce.

He further urged Burundians to embrace family planning and reduce the number of births because of reduced arable land in Burundi where it is feared agricultural land will reduce by 40 percent by 2025. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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