Promoting sustainable agriculture through production of quality seed of potatoes: story of change

Monday, December 14, 2015 - 12:22

Before the creation of the synergy of women's associations, the commune of Ruyigi knew a problem of poverty due to low agricultural production. There were many cases of theft in the fields and in households, children giving up schools, health care was difficult to cover, the daily food ration was so unbalanced and insufficient. Most people were selling labor in Ruyigi city center to earn some money to ends meet and getting some basic needs such as buying food, clothing and health care insurance for children. Agriculture which was and still continues to support more than 90% of Burundian population was not profitable because of the lack of appropriate agricultural inputs as selected seed, chemical and organic fertilizers. Also, modern agricultural techniques were ignored by the community.

Right now, the situation has improved with the creation and efforts of the synergy of women's associations to which our association belongs to. The latter, named TWIYUNGUNGANYE is the merger of two associations which shared the same goals and vision. It counts among its members 20 women of different ages who live all over the Dutwe hill. The synergy of women's associations in Ruyigi called SAFERU as an acronym, has partnered with ActionAid Burundi, an organization whose mission is to work with the poor to reduce extreme poverty and injustice. This organization therefore supports associations’ members belonging to SAFERU in capacity building. Thus, members of our association have benefited from training in modern agricultural techniques, the protection and conservation of crops. After being trained, our association developed a project that had been submitted to ActionAid Burundi in order to increase the quality of potato, which luckily met the approval of funding in the amount of six million four hundred and ninety-six thousand one hundred and twenty Burundian Franc. The effects of support given by this organization are being felt in the community. Currently we practice modern agricultural techniques in our organization and in our own fields, we keep the seeds in sheds reserved for this purpose, theft has decreased significantly, families eat properly, health care is provided and children continue their studies. We achieved such progress through multiple support of ActionAid, the assistance of the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock with technical guidance and availing of its storage sheds for the conservation of our crops.