Burundi: PARM Supports the Government in Assessing Risks for Maize, Rice and Rabbit Value Chains


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With 79.8% of land, agriculture plays a prevalent role in Burundi whose rural population is estimated at 86% in 2022 by the World Bank. Burundian agriculture is predominantly family-based, with minimal capital investment and reliance mainly on labor and land. The majority of the Burundi’s population relies on traditional, primarily rain-fed agriculture, which is susceptible to various agricultural risks such as short, intense, and sometimes erratic rainy seasons, floods, droughts, crop and animal diseases, locust invasions, and volatile domestic prices. These agricultural risks are compounded by political and security risks, and evolving climatic risks add another layer of uncertainty.

Within this framework, the Burundian government, through the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock (MINEAGRIE – acronym in French), requested, in November 2022, the technical assistance of PARM with a view to support the country in its commitment to reduce, transfer and adapt to agricultural risks. Following the official launch of PARM activities in the country in 2023, the Platform carried out an agricultural value chain risk assessment study (AVC-RAS) which focused on Maize, Rice and Rabbit, the three value chains selected by the government based on their role in food and nutritional security, in employment and economy, as well as their exposure to agricultural risks and their priority nature within the national agricultural policy and programs implemented by the State and its technical and financial partners.

The preliminary results of the study were shared and discussed with the Burundian government namely different ministries, parastatal entities, and office of the president, various stakeholders including donors (AFD, AfDB, Embassy of Belgium, Enabel, IFAD…), technical partners (AUXFIN, Cordaid, UNDP, WFP, FAO, Concern Worldwide, CAPAD, …), academia, international agricultural research institutions (ILRI, IRRI, IITA…), private sector companies, farmers organisations, etc. during a knowledge sharing workshop held in Bujumbura from 23 to 24 May 2024. Organised in partnership with MINEAGRIE and the Agriculture and Rural Development Working Group (GSADR – acronym in French), the workshop aimed at collecting and incorporating contributions from all stakeholders to enrich the content of the study.

The AVC-RAS identified, quantified and prioritized health, market, logistical, security and financial risks along the rabbit value chain while climate, phytosanitary, market, infrastructural, financial and individuals’ risks have been identified along maize and rice value chains. To manage the identified risks, the study has formulated a good number of recommendations on risk management strategies/tools which are complementary to the strategies already adopted in the field and align with the government’s priorities.

The fruitful exchanges during the workshop provided participants with the opportunity to share their experiences as key players in the sector and identify potential synergies as well as key priorities for agricultural risk management in Burundi. These discussions were particularly valuable for the upcoming investment project, which will be designed with the support of PARM to implement the identified risk management strategies and tools in the selected value chains (Maize, Rice and Rabbit).