Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Agricultural Recovery: Food Security and Beyond

Wodon, Quentin and Morris, Michael and Glaesener, Vincent and Zoyem, Jean-Paul and Larbouret, Patricia and Moens, Marc and Dianga, Evalyne and Mdaye, Ba and Kavalec, Alexandre (2008): Agricultural Recovery: Food Security and Beyond. Published in: Breaking the Cycle: A Strategy for Conflict-sensitive Rural Growth in Burundi (World Bank Working Paper) No. 147 (July 2008): pp. 35-67.

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Abstract

Burundi is still experiencing a major food crisis. One important element that will help to avoid new episodes of violence is revised agricultural policies that support sustainable food security. Food crops and livestock supply 91 percent of agricultural GDP and the major livelihood for most households, thus it is essential to promote production and commercialization of subsistence crops and livestock. These subsectors currently perform poorly and foster a chronic food deficit, a condition that underlines the extreme vulnerability of the population to production-related risks. With food demand increasing at an annual rate of 3 to 6 percent, it is urgent to improve the contribution of the subsistence crops and livestock subsectors. The potential for improvement is great, and beyond the need for reforms that will benefit all sectors, improvements will require public investments to enhance productivity and better market access. Necessary changes in the short-run include fostering the use of high quality seed and fertilizer, and improving the management of small livestock. In the long run, research-extension links should be strengthened, producer organizations should be encouraged and supported, and sustainable land and water management practices should be promoted. Investments in infrastructure and market intelligence will need to meet demands generated by the development of urban centers and foster competitiveness of Burundian agricultural commodities relative to those from the region. This chapter explains the food security issue in Burundi and identifies priority actions that will help overcome the major obstacles that prevent growth and improvement of the subsistence crops and livestock subsectors.

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