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In another celebration of its ongoing Open Door events, the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) commemorated 50 years of global commitment to agricultural development and food security on May 24 in Burundi. 

Key players in the agriculture industry, such as representatives from the public and private sectors, donors, development organizations, farmers, and IFDC staff, among others, attended the ceremony. 

With its presence in Burundi for the past 17 years, IFDC has been committed to promoting sustainable agricultural practices, increasing agricultural productivity, and improving the livelihoods of rural populations, with particular focus on soil and crop nutrient management and building a strong, viable seed production system and marketing system to make quality seed available to smallholder farmers. 

Emmanuel Ndorimana, Burundi’s Assistant Minister for Environment, Agriculture, and Livestock, and Ted Hunink, Head of Development Cooperation at the Dutch Embassy in Burundi, are guided to the Open Door event area by IFDC Burundi staff members.

During his welcome remarks, Marcel Nibasumba, IFDC Burundi Country Director, stated that by 2050, the agriculture sector in Burundi will need to feed more than 24 million people: 10 million more than Burundi’s current population.  

“IFDC’s strategy aims to contribute to the government’s efforts to achieve food security by bridging the traditional gaps between research, technology extension, and market systems in a bid to increase agricultural productivity.”

Marcel Nibasumba, IFDC Burundi Country Director

Emmanuel Ndorimana, Burundi’s Assistant Minister for Environment, Agriculture, and Livestock, noted that the event was a culmination of considerable collective work undertaken globally since 1974 and in Burundi since 2007. 

Ndorimana added, “Everyone here is aware of the positive contribution and impact of IFDC’s work among communities at the grassroots level in agricultural matters, as demonstrated by the close collaboration with the technical departments of our ministry and our research institute.” 

Participants attend the Burundi Open Door event to commemorate IFDC’s 50 years of global intervention. 

Ted Hunink, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi, acknowledged the long-standing collaboration between IFDC and the Embassy. Hunink noted that IFDC has been their leading partner in the food security sector for the past 12 years, and the initiatives implemented so far have transformed smallholder farmers’ livelihoods considerably.

While recounting her journey with the Private Seed Sector Development (PSSD) project, seed entrepreneur Larissa Igiraneza, acknowledged IFDC’s positive impact on her business: “Before I was introduced to IFDC, I didn’t know how to calculate the profitability of my business, but now I’m able to do it. The technical and financial support I have received from PSSD has also increased my production: I now produce 15 tons of beans and 20 tons of maize per season, whereas before, I produced less than three tons in total for both.” 

The speeches were followed by a visit to the exhibition area, where partners from the PSSD and the Soil Fertility Stewardship Project (PAGRIS) projects showcased various products. 

Ted Hunink, Emmanuel Ndorimana, Marcel Nibasumba, and event guests visit the partner exhibition area and view many of the showcased products.

More information on the current projects in Burundi:  

  • Private Seed Sector Development (PSSD): The PSSD project, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi, is a market systems project that aims to increase the production and incomes of 178,000 farmer households through the development of a private sector-led seed industry that can provide farmers with sustainable access to high-quality seed and agricultural advisory services. 

The Open Door event not only highlighted the impressive strides made over the past 17 years in Burundi but also underscored the continued commitment of IFDC and its partners towards sustainable agricultural development in the country, ensuring a prosperous future for its farmers and communities.