Investing in agriculture in Burundi

Improving food insecurity and conditions for women farmers

Publication date: 5 December 2011
Author: Paula San Pedro, Intermón Oxfam (Spain)

Burundi has alarming levels of food insecurity for a country dependent on agriculture: 72 per cent of the population do not have reliable access to enough food. Agricultural land is under pressure as Burundi’s population expands, and fertility is declining due to deforestation and erosion. The work of women farmers is at the core of agriculture in Burundi. But women farmers have few rights, particularly in land and livestock ownership, and very limited access to resources.

The Government of Burundi has prioritized investment in agriculture as an essential element in the country's development, but agricultural spending must be directed to where it is needed most. The best way to do this is with the full participation of farmers' organizations and civil society. The government needs to open up fora for debate, so that these groups can participate in drafting agricultural and budgetary policy and ensure transparency and accountability. Now that Burundi’s government has pledged to increase the agricultural budget, it must not waste this important moment to achieve significant progress for the country.

This research report looks at why it is urgent and essential to invest more and better in agriculture in Burundi, in order to improve food security and the livelihoods of women farmers.