IRRI-Africa: Igniting stronger partnerships in Burundi
Visit to the Burundi Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Prof. Sanctus Niragira (second from the right)
BURUNDI, AFRICA, 13-16 September, 2023 — IRRI Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement & Impact (DDG-SEI), Joanna Kane-Potaka and Regional Director for IRRI-Africa, Dr. Abdelbagi M. Ismail visited the IRRI-Burundi offices and met with important stakeholders in the country to hear and understand partners’ plans, priorities, and opportunities inquired on how IRRI can help provide support. In the series of meetings, Kane-Potaka underlined three imperatives that govern IRRI as a whole, which included farmer prosperity, environmental protection, and nutritious rice, which strongly align with the government’s priorities toward helping African farmers and consumers achieve food self-sufficiency.
“Though it is true that IRRI-Burundi has served as a trampoline for progress throughout Africa, we still need to go further as there are other industries that are emerging here such as mechanization,” Kane-Potaka said.
Specific areas for collaboration that were identified included; rainfed and high-yielding rice varieties, capacity building, well-equipped laboratories, fertilizer policy, rice exportation, water management in rice fields, developing market systems, management of agricultural inputs including seeds and fertilizers, rotation systems and mechanization.
Mr. Ferdinand Bashikako, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, recognized IRRI for the positive impact of its work on the whole Burundian population. “Without food, there is no life. As food security is the foundation of everything, IRRI is an institution that came and led a revolution in agriculture and brought significant added value in this sector. The Government of Burundi, focusing on the agricultural sector as a basis for sustainable development, looks forward to working more closely with IRRI,” Bashikako, said. Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU) Director General, Dr. Alfred Niyokwishimira, noted: “As we have IRRI…