About the organization

The Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF Burundi) is working in Burundi since 2009 with a purpose of enabling small farmers in the country to speak as a united voice so that issues, concerns and recommendations become an integral part of policies and practices at national, regional/international levels.

ESAFF Burundi is a member of network of grassroots small scale farmers’ organizations working in countries of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. This network of grassroots organizations are led by ESAFF Regional which started in 2002 parallel to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and was registered in 2007 in Tanzania. ESAFF regional (with headquarters in Tanzania, Morogoro) coordinates more than 15 African countries. These countries are: Tanzania through MVIWATA; Kenya (Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum – KESSFF), Uganda (ESAFF Uganda), Zambia (ESAFF Zambia); Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe Small Organic Smallholder Famers Forum – ZIMSOFF), Lesotho (Lesotho Small Scale Farmers Forum); South Africa (ESAFF South Africa); Malawi (National Small Scale Farmers Movement -NASFAM); Rwanda (APPPE); Madagascar (Confédération des Agriculteurs Malagas – CPM) ; Seychelles (Seychelles Farmers Association – SeyFA) and Mozambique (ROSA).

Country Overview and Facts

Burundi is among the lowest ranked countries in the Human Development Index (184th out of 188 countries in 2016) with 11.4 million of population. The rural population includes 94% under poverty line, and 80% are underemployed. Agriculture plays a critical role in poverty reduction strategy given the fact that 90% of Burundi’s population and 97% of its poor live and work in rural areas.

The percentage of fertile land available for agriculture is decreasing due to the country’s high population growth rate. The long period of conflict had an adverse impact on the agriculture sector, including the livestock sector.

Food insecurity and malnutrition are becoming chronic. Burundi is among EAC countries with higher undernourishment (39.2%).  On the prevalence of stunting (% of children under 5 years old) Burundi is still the highest with more than half of under-five (5) year children experiencing stunting at 56.0. Climate change is also having a negative impact.

Natural disasters (torrential rains, violent wind, landslide and flooding) are increasingly affecting farmers devastating their crops, shelters and other basic necessities. And at least 3,357 farmers are affected and displaced every month and one third of those affected people experience an acute need of WASH services