BUJUMBURA December 6th (ABP) – Burundi’s government will boost the use of “foreign experience” on the integration of peat in soil fertilization, as revealed last week in Bujumbura by Mr. Pascal Ninkunda, General Director of the National Peat Authority (ONATOUR), under the supervision of the Burundian Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines.
Mr. Ninkunda talked with the check by ABP at the end of a workshop on the integration of peat in the formulation of “organic-mineral” fertilizers in Burundi. On 21st March 1977, the Burundian President of that period signed the Decree establishing ONATOUR, whose one of the main missions is the promotion and popularization of peat and its derivatives by industry and agriculture.
“It is in the framework of the realization of that mission that ONATOUR, drawing inspiration notably from certain peat producing countries such as Ireland, Germany, Indonesia, Russia and Malaysia, had initiated since 1988 a project to produce soil fertilizer based on peat mixed with manure and improved with some chemical fertilizers in small quantities”, he said.
After the interruption of the ad hoc peat site following the outbreak of the inter-Burundian civil war of October 1993, the revival of the peat fertilizer manufacturing project in Burundi aims at a triple objective, he esaid. The aim is to find an appropriate solution to the problem of physical and chemical degradation of humus-poor arable lands, to produce a “cheaper and more efficient” local fertilizer in the agricultural sector, and to save the country’s currencies to import chemical fertilizers”. In fact, the greatest added value of this peat-based fertilizer in case of its adoption by the authorized authorities is that, in a Burundian context where the majority of the citizens are poor, it will be cheaper compared to imported chemical fertilizers”, he suggested. To date, peat reserves in Burundi are estimated at 150 million of peat, of which 57 million tons are “economically” exploitable.