Empowerment of the small farmers

Agriculture in Burundi is a subsistence farming rudimentary way by households estimated 1.2 million families, or more than 90% of the population. Small farmers are facing many challenges including: Hard access to loans, Traditional Production Means, Land conflicts, Demographic pressure and climate change.

 During the last fourteen years; ERB has partnered with many donors to empower the small farmers. We worked closely with FAO, UE and many International Organizations in making change about the organizations of the farmers.  Our expertise and experience include:

  • Vocational trainings( Business plan, modernization of agriculture, processing, storage of harvest, research of the markets)
  • Research community-based research through farmer fields approach
  • Supervision of associations for production of certified seeds
  • Cooperatives establishment and management,
  • Business plan trainings
  • Accompaniment of producers in process of supplying of seeds and chemical fertilizers

Economic empowerment of the youth and women

In Burundi, according to the census of 2008, the number of women is 51% of the total population and 22% are widows. Women are facing many challenges among others :(1) Customs that is not favorable to the rights of inheritance and succession for girls and women (2) The high rate of illiterate women: The number of illiterate women is estimated at over 60% in 2010, (3)Young people in Burundi (18 -30 years) constitute over 60% of the total population of Burundi.

They are a specific category of the population and are facing many challenges including (1) difficult access to employment and underemployment: Only 6% of young people find employment in the formal sector after technical studies or Universities (ISTEEBU, 2014), (2) a youth called in acts of violence and the armed movements. The majority of fighter’s armed movements that have existed or are being found in Burundi are young. We are endeavoring to addresses the challenges of women and youth by focusing on their economic empowerment. Over a decade, we gain experiences as follows:

  • Increasing the Financial autonomy of women and youth through self-help savings
  • Training the women and youth on the topics related to entrepreneurship, micro projects management, creation of cooperatives marketing, leadership
  • Creating Income Generating Activities ( IGA)

Resilience of vulnerable households

As other part of worldwide, Burundi is facing a wide range of shocks and stresses due to many factors including: ethnic wars and conflicts, droughts and floods, structural poverty of the country.

We are involved in building resilience by helping vulnerable households and communities to prepare themselves for coping with, recovering from the shocks and if possible to become better off. We help the affected communities to be able to learn lessons and involve them in innovative and transformative actions. Our experience in resilience includes: 

  • Resilience in nutrition and food security
  • Resilience in sanitation and health

Governance and conflict resolution empowerment

We believe that the sustainable development of communities cannot be achieved without members of communities participating in decision-making and without local elected officials understanding that they are accountable to the population that elected them

Over a decade, ERB gained strong experience in the following actions:

  • Trainings and sensitization of the population on the decision-making participation and control powers on the local elected.
  • Trainings of the local elected on the obligation of accountability
  • Trainings and sensitization of the population on the fiscal responsibility
  • Creation of Income Generating Activities for the young et misemployed people, former fighters in army movements. 

Environment protection and climate change mitigation

Today we cannot talk about the development of agriculture without worrying about environmental factors. Already, in  analysis of  strategic context on  development of the agricultural and livestock value chain in Burundi, we have just seen that climate change, factors such as erosion, floods and drought affect negatively agricultural production. Thus, protecting the environment and reducing strategic impacts are prerequisites for the successful development of agriculture or food security. In terms of challenges, Burundi is facing the Soil degradation, Landslides and floods, Hail, Drought in some regions of the country, Deforestation, Uncontrolled mining . Over a decade, ERB has gained experience and strong expertise in:

  • Agroforestry and forestry.
  • Installation of anti-erosion devices or watershed management
  • Rainwater conservation techniques
  • Protection and conservation of protected areas
  • Training and education of grassroots communities in adaptation to climate change
  • Training and establishment of local committees for environmental protection and early warning of climate change.

Information- Education-Communication (IEC)

We are adopting the IEC to increase awareness, change attitudes and bring about the change in specific behaviors. IEC is an approach that includes the process of communication and building social networks more adaptive in implementation of our mission consisting of helping the local communities in general, particularly poor and marginalized people to strengthen their decision-making powers and their capacity to find local solutions by changing attitude.

IEC is being used a way that is culturally sensitive and acceptable to the community using the appropriate channels and methods. More specifically, through IEC we gain experience in transforming and changing behaviors in:

  • Health education and family planning
  • Gender based-violence
  • Appropriateness of projects ‘results
  • Agricultural transformation and nutrition
  • Climate change and adaptation.