Being born and raised in Burundi while I am Rwandan has made me love this country. It is obviously the second homeland After Rwanda. Close to the time we were about to leave that country in 2008, and civil wars started occurring there based on the conflict between Two Ethnic Groups (Hutu, Tutsi). It has caused several Burundians to free their country, and others were displaced from their properties, which has also led to the decline of the country’s economy.Burundi | History, Geography, & Culture | Britannica


Burundi is a landlocked, low-income country located in the mid-east of Africa, surrounded by Rwanda, DRC, and Tanzania. In 2017 Burundi was one of the poorest countries all around the world; it was ranked 185 over 189 countries. Over 65% of the population lives in poverty. In 2018 Burundi was in the countries with high hunger globally; it preceded Somalia’s last one. In a nation where the overall annual food production will only cover 55 days per person per year, more than 50 percent of the population is chronically food insecure. (Global food insecurity | National institute of food and agriculture, 2020).

Five years after the start of the World End Hunger Initiative, food insecurity, and all types of malnutrition, we are still showing no signs of achieving this target by 2030. Data tells us that either SDG 2.1 is not advanced by the world to ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all individuals throughout the year, or to goal 2.2, to eradicate all forms of malnutrition (FAO, 2020).

Global hunger has steadily been on the rise since 2015, following decades of steady decline. In 2018, an estimated 821 million individuals in the world suffered from hunger. The enormous challenge of reaching the Zero Hunger Target by 2030 will not be met if nothing changes. Around the same time, referring to The State of Food Security, the Nutrition in the World 2019, overweight and obesity continue to grow in all world regions (FAO, 2018).

The latest figures available show that in 2018, about 821 million people worldwide were undernourished. One in nine individuals does not get enough food to lead an active life and be healthy. Data shows that the number of people with hunger has risen over the past three years, returning to the level that it has been in the last decade. The number of people that have been affected by undernourishment has been significantly increased by around 50 million in 2 years . Africa is in the most affected region as it is the poorest continent throughout the world (FAO, 2018). 

According to food insecurity levels, dietary habits showed that diet consistency worsens with the rising intensity of food insecurity. How moderately food-insecure individuals change their diets differ according to the country’s income level. There is a marked decline in most food groups’ intake and a rise in the share of mains in the diet in the two lower-middle-income countries surveyed (FAO, 2020). People who are food insecure consume more foods that are usually cheaper per calorie basis (cereals, roots, tubers, and plantains),  and consume lower quantities of expensive foods (meat and dairy), relative to those who are food safe, in two upper-middle-income countries examined (FAO, 2020). 

The number of people worldwide is growing mostly in Sub-Saharan countries, which means the amount of agriculture production should be increased to sustain the needs of the market. Over 80% of Burundians are dependent on farming. This should be the opportunity for Burundians to have enough of what they need on the market, but it does not due to different circumstances. The research shows that this country in the mid-east of Africa includes Burundi like having Fertile soil for most edible plants; this also should be an opportunity for Burundians.

Political instability in that country has made everything worse. Many Burundians that should be farming for their fellows to sustain the needs are in refugee camps in different neighboring countries (UNHCR, 2020). It has hardly affected the farming sector there. Since 1994 when the genocide Against Tutsi ended, Rwanda has recorded significant progress in food insecurity and poverty reduction. Rwanda is a landlocked and overpopulated country as Burundi is, but the political stability and security have made that progress real with 26 years. By providing assistance financially and training to farmers, agriculture has been the country’s economy’s backbone. However, Rwandans have not yet made it to where they want; even though they have not gotten to the point where they intend to, at least they are showing progress. The proportion of the overall food-insecure households in 2018 has changed substantially compared to the 2015 CFSVA. However for completely food-secure households (+3%) and extremely food-insecure households (-1%), significant differences were observed (NISR, 2018). It indicates how the stability of politics is critical to food security stability too.

Burundian refugees in Uganda too scared to go home | Africa | DW |  20.02.2017

Burundians refugee camp in Uganda

Climate change is also a big issue in Burundian’s farming; soil degradation, deforestation, and sanitation issues are the three main environmental challenges in Burundi. Already deforestation and soil erosion heavy rains have resulted in inundation and infrastructure damage in the country and make the country more vulnerable to climate change (UNPD, 2011). Heavy rain and soil erosion caused by deforestation have been hardly affecting the farming sector in that country. Many plants get spoiled at the farms due to that. Any action should be taken before things turn worse. Soil degradation. 

In Burundi, regions plant different crops, farm-based on what grows best in a particular area, and lack infrastructure that connects those regions is a big challenge to farmers and beneficiaries. Reaching to everyone is a problem. In a country with 27,834 km² of surface, only 1,418 km of road paved there (logcluster, 2020). It means there are some provinces that god no paved road that connects them with other provinces. 

Planting trees and pull in strict measures against deforestation could be a great solution to soil erosion. Its neighboring country Rwanda has made it happen; in the past decade, deforestation in Rwanda was high, but by taking different measures like banning charcoal usage in some parts of the country, planting new trees, and encouraging citizen cooking with the Gaz energy. They had stopped by there (PBS, 2020). They have also put in place strict punishment on those who commit deforestation or cut down trees with governmental permission and any other that harms the environment. Rwanda and Burundi share many things (like climate, neighboring countries, and landlocked countries with low-income sources). Many people tend to say they were one country many years back before colonizers brought borders, which means what works in Rwanda can also work in Burundi; imitating that could be the long-term solution. Every year Rwanda holds a week of planting tree, where every Rwandan is called to plant a tree where it is needed.

A day of planting a tree.

It is like that most countries in the middle east, and the North East of Africa tend to have hills, Burundi too, got them. Making terraces around the hills, as research shows it successfully avoids soil erosion and landslides that like to occur on them. Many countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda have tried it and have been effectively working out (FAO, 2014). It helps countries avoid soil erosion and more comfortable that farmers’ job cultivating on the climbing surface is tiring than on flat soil (FAO, 2014). 

The rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai – Southeast Asia Globe

Radical terraces

Making paved roads in every province could sound expensive for the country, but at least there are roads made in laterite soil, but for them to remain useful every time, they require regular maintenance as they do not resist heavy rain. However, for long-term solutions, paved roads are critical in connecting regions. It will help not only farmers but also those industries that process agricultural products. Bringing those industries close to the farmers would also help farmers to get their harvest to people that are financially able to distribute them in all sides of the country; this will never be done with investors only; the government has part tom play by easiering the conditions and providing facilities that needed for a food processing industry to be there.

Happy farmer.



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