Agriculture in BurundiBurundi is a small, landlocked country located in central Africa on the northeastern shoreline of Lake Tanganyika. It occupies an area of 27,834 sq. km. Burundi has a largely hilly and mountainous terrain with the wooded Mitumba Mountains in the west giving way to a plateau eastwards.
Light, forest-derived soils predominate, forming a thin layer of humus over lateritic (iron-rich) subsoils. The best soils are formed from alluvium, but they are confined primarily to the lower portions of larger river valleys. Burundi has a “moderate” tropical climate with average temperatures between 16 ºC and 25 ºC. In the west parts of the country where it is hotter, average temperatures are about 25ºC. The country has two major seasons: the dry season from June to September and the rainy season from September to May.
The population of Burundi is 12,403,257 as of Wednesday, December 2021, based on the latest United Nations data. Burundi is the second most densely populated country in Africa. The percentage of fertile land available for agriculture is decreasing due to the country’s high population growth rate.
Burundi’s economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture (90 percent of total population). Family farming provides 95 per cent of the food supply, but does not meet nutritional needs. Agricultural production covers an average area of 0.50 ha per household, but only translates into 65 per cent of the food requirements, resulting in the country's dependence on food imports.
Agriculture is characterised by complex traditional systems of hill polyculture (banana, beans, root crops and tubers, maize) and congested marshy valleys where tuber crops, beans, maize and rice are grown using exclusively manual techniques.
The main staple crops grown are banana, cassava, sweet potato and beans. Coffee is the main export, accounting for more than 60 percent of export revenues, but national production is in decline since ageing coffee orchards produce only every two years.
Coffee regions in Burundi consist of: Cibitoke
Coffee cultivation in BurundiCoffee cultivation in Burundi began in the 1930s when the Belgians brought Arabica coffee plants. Today more than 800,000 Burundi families are involved in coffee growing. Typically in Burundi farmers are growing coffee along with other food produce that they consume within their homes and sell on a small scale in the local market. Farmers here are primarily subsistence farmers, and coffee is a crop that gives a relatively secure access to cash. Farmers will describe the size of their farm or production usually by number of trees, commonly farmers would have between 250 to 300 trees. Maintaining and growing coffee trees is work done by the family.
Most of Burundi's coffee is grown between 1,250 meters and 2,000 meters above sea level and the primary coffee plant varietal grown is Bourbon and the coffee is wet processed. Burundi coffee is often compared to Rwanda coffee in its general cup character.
Burundi is not a significant player in the world-wide coffee market, but grows and exports a substantial quantity of delicious coffees nevertheless. Local brokers and distributors work with green coffee importers to clear customer and get unroasted Burundi green coffee beans into the United States and Canada. These bulk shipments (45,000-lb containers) are then split by the 132-lb bag and sold to in wholesale lots to coffee roasters, for sale to the final customer.
Burundi is growing almost entirely Bourbon cultivars, and most of the production is Arabica with some small amounts of Robusta also being grown.
Other cash crops include tea, cotton, and sugar.
Fisheries in BurundiBurundi fisheries are almost entirely focussed on Lake Tanganyika, whose waters also border on the states of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Fisheries in Burundi contribute only an estimated 1% to the country’s agricultural GDP and 0.5% to its global GDP. Although these figures suggest that fisheries play but a minor role in the national economy, their significance as a source of food and, particularly along the Tanganyika lakeshore, as a source of employment, is very substantial. Fish is a major source of animal protein in the country, and in the lake area and in the major urban centres of Bujumbura, Gitega and Ngozi it serves as the most important single source of animal protein.
Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest lake in the world (after Lake Baikal), and has a mean depth of 570 m. Its total area is 32 900 km2, of which 2 600 km2 (about 8%) is within the borders of Burundi. The size and depth of Lake Tanganyika give it sea-like characteristics in that, unlike most African lakes, its principal resources are found mostly in the pelagic zone. Fishing has intensified considerably over the course of the 20th century, reflecting the dramatic expansion of human population and settlements around the lake and the introduction of various technical innovations, such as paraffin oil (kerosene) pressure lamps for night fishing, synthetic netting material, and motorized craft.
The lake’s present-day fisheries are conventionally classified according to gear into traditional, artisanal and industrial types. The traditional fishery is based on the use of "lusenga" or scoop nets (in conjunction with fire-light or lamp-light attraction) for the harvest of clupeids, and gillnets, longlines, handlines, traps, spears and poisons for the capture of demersal species.
Artisanal fishing in the Burundian sector of Lake Tanganyika is primarily for commercial purposes, using lift nets.
Industrial fishing units each comprise a large (16-20 m) steel main vessel, a smaller net-setting vessel, and three or more light boats, requiring in all a crew of 20 to 40 persons to operate.