The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a US$43 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Government of Burundi improve agro-pastoral productivity and markets development in the country.
The project will increase small producers’ productivity and market access for targeted commodities in 10 of the 17 rural provinces of Burundi. To achieve this objective, the project will support agricultural technology transfer in targeted value chains, as well as rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure to increase productivity. It will also strengthen the capacities of producers and their partners to link to the market through improvement of post-harvest infrastructure, market intelligence, and rehabilitation of feeder roads.
The project has three components. The first component will support agricultural productivity and access to markets by providing matching grants for productive investments at the production, post-harvest, processing, and marketing stages in the targeted value chains and watershed management. This component is expected to promote the adoption of technology packages by small producers and other beneficiaries.
The second component concerns irrigation development and feeder road rehabilitation. It will finance the rehabilitation or development of basic collective infrastructure. This component is expected to improve the production environment for irrigated rice and associated crops while facilitating producers’ access to markets for these commodities.
The last component regards the management and coordination of project activities. That component will finance the operating costs of a small Project Coordination Unit to be in charge of project coordination and management.
“This project will directly improve food security by increasing production and lay the foundation for increased commercialization in agriculture,” explained Nicaise Ehoue, the World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.
“The project is fully consistent with Burundi’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper’s strategies and activities concerning equitable and sustainable growth,” said John McIntire, Country Director for Burundi. “It will contribute to economic growth and job creation. This contribution is expected to help consolidate peace and stability while achieving results closely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals, especially with respect to malnutrition and hunger.”
According to Mercy Tembon, Country Manager of the World Bank office in Burundi, “The project offers an opportunity to pay particular attention to the poor and the most vulnerable social groups, including women.”
The Agro-Pastoral Productivity and Markets Development Project will be implemented over the course of five years, from 2010 to 2015. A total of about 2,630 matching grants are expected to be awarded during project implementation, benefitting 90,000 households (about 550,000 people). The project will consolidate the achievements the Agriculture Rehabilitation and Land Management Project (PRASAB), which is also funded by IDA and is expected to close on October 10, 2010.