Promoting food security and poverty reduction in Burundi

Burundi is one of the countries most affected by food insecurity among the 79 countries listed in the Global Hunger report. Despite the national strategies and the plan of action that have been defined, the problem of food and nutritional insecurity continues to rise acutely. Ensuring sustainable food security is a major challenge for the development of Burundi. It is in such a framework that ICMICA engages its partners to find strategic responses to address malnutrition and food insecurity. The design
and implementation of the project “promoting food security and poverty reduction in Burundi” goes in this direction and also supports the mission of Pax Romana by serving the less privileged in the community and giving priority to meeting their needs: “Preferential Option for the poor”.


The following approaches were used during the project implementation:
• Partnership: the project team in Burundi has been working closely with Mpanda Parish of the Bubanza diocese via the Abbe in charge of the Lay Apostolate and the local administration through the village chief. They helped ICMICA team select the beneficiaries. The team engaged the priest to conduct prayers and spiritual education before the activities.
• Interreligious mix: thirty people including 15 men and 15 women were selected from various religious denominations and local agricultural cooperatives

Participatory approaches:
o Trainers used the participatory approach, which consists of encouraging participants to share how they proceed at home in order to make improvements, without deviating too much from their normal way of working and understanding.
o Beneficiaries do all the physical activities and offer lands for the practical
demonstration (composting and the cultivation of vegetables, rice, and fruits) as their own contributions.
o Participants prepared the ground for the demonstration training and made available all the necessary inputs such as manure, equipment before the training day.

Training on the child protection
MANIRAKIZA Sébastien, the Project Director and MIIC Burundi National President, within his expertise as a lawyer, took the participants through the ICMICA policy for the protection of minors.
Through this training, participants learned about the rights of children according to their age groups and the needs of minors. The trainer described to them, in summary, the rights of minors and the duties
of parents towards their children, especially in terms of their responsibilities to fight against the exploitation of minors. He explained the policy and the reasons for this policy.

Training on composting techniques
Beneficiaries were trained on different techniques for composting organic waste and the difference between organic and mineral fertilizers. They understood that the composting technique helps to clean up the environment, protect the quality of the soil and increases agricultural production. Beneficiaries were taught several composting methods and they chose the techniques that seemed easy and practical to them depending on the availability of organic materials.
During the training, the project team realized that some participants have composts at home, but these composts were poorly maintained and are less rich in micronutrients since they were made from little organic materials. In addition, their composts took a long time to decompose and be ready for use. The training brought novelty to them; the beneficiaries will soon have a rich compost that will be ready for use within a short period (02 months) as they were waiting for more than 06 months before.

Training on the cultivation of vegetables (tomatoes, onions, cabbage,
eggplant, lenga-lenga, and watermelon)

The training took place on 02nd August 2022 by Engineer NDAYISENGA Célestin in collaboration with the Project Officer Engineer NSHIMIRIMANA Révérien. The focuses of the training were:
• Theoretical training in the preparation of the nurseries,
• Installation of tomato, lenga lenga, onion, eggplant, and cabbage nurseries,
• Sharing of the good practices of growing vegetables from the creation of nurseries (if applicable) to harvesting and storing the yield;
• Installation of a demonstration plot on the extent of half a hectare (1/2ha) for the cultivation of watermelons (they do not pass through the nursery);
Before the training, most of the participants were afraid of the cultivation of tomatoes, onions, and watermelons because these crops require a technique and rigorous monitoring. But, after the training, they made a commitment to cultivating them after knowing their nutritional values and financial gain. Participants also learned about the benefits of a balanced diet using locally available resources.

Capacity building on food, body, and health hygiene and training on a balanced diet.
This training took place on 02nd August 2022 by Dr. Innocent RIYAZIMANA. The training focuses on
the management of the available resources for a balanced diet and hygiene.
From the training, participants learned about:
• The importance and methods of hand washing,
• The importance of cultivation of vegetables among food crops, which was neglected by many
participants before,
• The importance of a balanced diet from childhood to old age,
• Good management of nurseries and crops,
• The variety of vegetables that require a nursery and those that do not.
The training was important for the beneficiaries because they learned that in most cases, malnutrition is not necessarily linked to the lack of food but rather to the poor management of available resources.