BUJUMBURA January 17th (ABP) – The MPs gathered in plenary session on Tuesday January 15, 2019 and followed the presentation of the report by the Permanent Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, which carried out a trip into some provinces of the country to inquire about the impact of the 500 million Burundian francs that the government grants to communes to support their development.

The chairman of the permanent commission in charge of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Bernard Ndayisenga who presented the report, said that the trip was carried out in the communes of some provinces of the country including Bubanza, Cibitoke, Bururi, Rutana, Gitega, Karusi, Kayanza, Ngozi, Muramvya and Mwaro. He indicated that the Committee met with governors, administrators and communal advisors as well as village leaders in order to note the communal development resulting from the contribution of the State which, since 2016, has increased from 50 million to 500 million Burundian francs. The chairman of the commission pointed out that the communes benefit from another contribution from the financial partners of the State.The Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Education and Local Development, Mr. Pascal Barandagiye and the Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Déo Guide Rurema were present there to give clarifications.

The chairman of the commission pointed out some challenges that were noted by the communal administrators and representatives of the people, such as the inadequacy of that budget (500 million BIF). They asked the State to increase that contribution up to one billion BIF if it’s possible. There is also a lack of infrastructures and crop conservation techniques, lack of teachers and teaching materials for craft schools. They also noted the lack of water and electricity in schools, markets and other public places; the financial partners of the State who do not put forward the projects drawn up by the communes; roads that are not built or rehabilitated; and coffee and tea crops that do not have sufficient follow-up.According to Mr. Ndayisenga, the commission noted that the said contributions have allowed the communes to develop, in particular by the drawing up and implementation of large projects that meet the needs of the people that communes alone cannot achieve. The chairman of the commission cited the construction of schools, communal offices, hospitals, bridges, water supplies, dams, and support in the agriculture and livestock sectors.

Minister Rurema, who reacted to the question of knowing how the 500 million BIF are used in the sector of Agriculture and Livestock, indicated that 80% of that amount is reserved for projects in the field of Agriculture and Livestock, including the multiplication of selected seeds, the granting of fertilizers to farmers, the environment protection and the multiplication of sources, and support for stockbreeders and others. He also said that reforms are being made to develop monitoring of coffee and tea crops and to encourage the growers of those crops.

Addressing the Interior Minister, the MPs wanted to know if it is necessary to increase the 500 million BIF granted to communes. Minister Barandagiye responded that he supports the idea, but provided that there is an evaluation to see the level of development of each commune and the projects to prioritize in order to know the amount to increase. Regarding the empowerment of communes of the Bujumbura City, Mr. Barandagiye said that a law is being drafted for the complete empowerment of communes of the City Council.

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