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Around 235,000 vulnerable households are expected to benefit from a US$101mn project that aims to improve the living conditions and climate resilience of rural populations in five provinces of Burundi

burundi 14IFAD has financed a number of rural development programmes and projects in Burundi. (Image source: Community Eye Health/Flickr)

The financing agreement for the Agricultural Production Intensification and Vulnerability Reduction Project (PIPARV-B) was signed in Rome by Gilbert F. Houngbo, president of IFAD, and Domitien Ndihokubwayo, minister of finance, budget and economic cooperation of the Republic of Burundi.

Financing for the project includes a US$27.5mn grant from IFAD, in addition to co-financing from the OPEC Fund for International Development (US$25mn), the African Development Bank (US$20mn), the World Food Programme (US$7mn), the Government of Burundi (US$11.6mn), and the beneficiaries themselves (US$1.8mn). A financing gap of US$8mn will be covered by other sources of financing or by the IFAD resource allocation cycle for Burundi for the period 2019-2021.

In Burundi, one of the main causes of poverty is the poor performance of the agriculture sector, which suffers from the low public and private investment, weak capacity, overexploitation of natural resources and vulnerability to climate change, floods and droughts, as well as soil degradation, diseases and pests and barriers to market access. The new project will target the provinces of Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Muyinga and Ngozi, where population and malnutrition rates are among the highest in the country.

PIPARV-B aims to reduce chronic child malnutrition and improve nutrition rates overall in the project areas by training household members on good dietary practices, nutrition and hygiene. Through the organisation of 20 cooperative groups, it is expected that 6,000 participants will have access to climate-resilient technologies, including high-quality seeds and plants, as well as storage, processing and marketing facilities for rice and milk. The project will also promote the raising of small livestock, fishing, poultry farming and beekeeping.

The project is set to establish 240 farmer field schools in developed wetland areas while supporting 30 wetland users' associations and 333 watershed committees. It will train 3,000 young men and women.

Furthermore, PIPARV-B is expected to rehabilitate 150 kilometres of rural roads to facilitate access to market and construct 30 rice storage hangars equipped with hulling and whiting machines. In addition, 100 warehouses will be constructed.