In Burundi, 90 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture, but agricultural productivity and access to farmable land are low.
If all the food produced locally in Burundi in one year were gathered and distributed, there would only be enough to feed Burundians for 55 days. This stark statistic shows just how critical it is to improve agricultural production and reduce post-harvest losses in this small, densely-populated country that has one of the fastest growing populations in Africa.
What is post-harvest loss (aka PHL)?
Post-harvest loss is a form of food waste that happens before food ever reaches our plates. It happens when food spoils because of poor storage, when crops rot in the field because of a drought or storm, or when food is damaged during transportation. Across Africa, farmers lose up to 40%of their crops because of PHL.
In Burundi, more than 50 percent of the population is chronically food insecure, and a quarter of the population (2.6 million people) is severely food insecure, putting Burundi on the same level of food security crisis with Somalia. WFP and its partners are supporting government efforts to build resilience in local Burundi communities.
Currently, WFP supports over 20,000 small-scale farmers to increase production, reduce post-harvest losses, access new markets and increase their incomes.
In addition to offering a lifeline to project participants, WFP support addresses the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in Burundi by stimulating local food production and boosting the local economy.
Jacqueline Nzeyimana is a mother of seven. She lives in Mpanda commune, 12 miles northwest of Bujumbura. Like many women in Burundi, Jacqueline grows cassava, beans and corn to support her family. But reduced land area for cultivation, poor-quality seeds and climate change mean that what she grows is hardly enough to meet the family’s needs throughout the year.