GIEWS Country Brief: Burundi 12-February-2016

News and Press Release
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  • Harvesting of 2016A season crops almost complete and production estimated at below-average levels

  • Despite favourable rains benefitting plantings and yields in areas not affected by conflict, below-average output estimated in conflict-affected areas due to disruption of agricultural activities

  • About 645 000 people in conflict-affected provinces are food insecure. About 35 000 of them are severely food insecure and require emergency food assistance

Below-average production for 2016A season crops

Harvesting of the 2016A season cereal crops is almost complete and production prospects are mixed across the country. The “small rains” season (September to January) has generally started on time and rainfall amounts have been average to above-average and well distributed throughout the season, inducing farmers to increase plantings in areas not affected by the conflict and benefiting yields. However, agricultural production is expected to be well-below average in the most conflict-affected areas of Rumonge, Bujumbura, Muyinga, Kirundo and Makamba provinces where large displacement of farmers and lack of inputs have significantly disrupted seasonal agricultural activities. Overall, despite the favourable rainy season, the 2016A season output is expected to be about 10 percent below the last five‑year average.

The minor 2015C season crops were harvested by the end of 2015 and the season’s output was estimated at an average level. Total production for 2015 is put at 267 000 tonnes, about 3 percent more than the previous year, but about 6 percent less than last five‑year average.

Food security conditions deteriorate in areas affected by unrest and civil insecurity

Food security conditions remained stressed in the provinces most affected by the ongoing civil unrest, including in parts of Kirundo, Muyinga and Makamba, as well as rural areas near Bujumbura. In October 2015, a multi-agency Emergency Food Security Assessment estimated that about 645 000 people in conflict-affected provinces of Kirundo, Makamba, Rumonge, Cibitoke and Bujumbura are food insecure and about 5 percent of them (some 35 000 people) are severely food insecure, requiring urgent emergency food assistance. Since civil unrest erupted in April/May 2015, food insecurity has particularly increased in the eastern part of Cibitoke as well as in farming areas around Bujumbura due to reduced exchanges of agricultural products and labour in urban areas. As a consequence of tension and violence, over 260 000 people have fled their homes and 90 percent of them have arrived in the neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as refugees and asylum seekers, while the remaining 10 percent is internally displaced in the country.