BUJUMBURA November 22nd (ABP) – The National Assembly (NA) of Burundi, jointly with the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock on Tuesday November 20, 2019, made a field trip to the Gitega, Ngozi, Kirundo provinces to see the different projects run in those provinces.

The first visit led them to the SOVERT cooperative in Giheta commune of Gitega province. The leader of the cooperative, Mrs. Hakizimana Joys, indicated that the cooperative set itself the objective to promote mushroom. She said it has techniques for growing edible mushrooms. She added that around there is a person who did some research on how to produce the seeds of the mushrooms and built a laboratory for seed production.

Mrs. Hakizimana indicated that it is this person who provides seeds to them and that the cooperative in turn grows them in the different regions of the country, including Gitega (Giheta), Ruyigi in the Kinyinya and Gisuru communes and in the Bujumbura City Council.

The cooperative also plays the role of teaching how to grow that plant to people who want to grow it.

Mrs. Hakizimana reported that one kg of mushroom costs 3000 BIF. She took the opportunity to invite everyone to consume edible mushrooms, arguing that they have a positive impact on human health especially for people suffering from chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure and others because taking the mushroom diet helps lower cholesterol.

NA Speaker Pascal Nyabenda wanted to know if there is collaboration between the Ministry and the cooperative especially as regards the quality of the seeds produced by the laboratory.

The Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Déo Guide Rurema, informed that the experts of the Ministry have evaluated the laboratory and found it competent even if it is in the interior of the country. He said a large mushroom production laboratory, which will supply seeds throughout the country, will be built in Gitega (the political capital) in the coming days. The Minister did not forget to point out that his ministry has not yet seen cases of mushroom diseases and that the ministry intends to help associations growing edible mushrooms to achieve good development and achieve their autonomy. He also invited all Burundians to consume mushroom that is important for health and also generates income.

Another visit was made to the Nyakijima marsh (Ngozi commune) where rice is grown, a marsh developed by PRODEMA / PRODEFI and after, they visited the Gashikanwa mini-rice milling factory where the cooperatives met to work together to build a factory that is used to peel the rice and the managers of that factory indicated that they recorded positive results.

The last visit on November 20, 2018 was paid to the modern irrigation dam of the Nyavyamo marsh (Ntega commune, Kirundo province) developed by PAIRB.

The director of the provincial directorate of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock (DPEAE) in Kirundo province, Mr. Leonidas Rivuzumwami, said that the farmers who cultivate in that marsh are 6,621 and that they belong to 10 cooperatives that are in synergy. He reported that the harvest is good, 6 to 7 tons per hectare can be achieved.

According to Mr. Rivuzumwami, that dam occupies an area of ​​45 hectares. He also added that the dam has been stocked with fish and that it has been entrusted to a cooperative that will take charge of fishing and monitoring the dam closely.

The NA Speaker asked if there are plans to grow other crops in that marsh beside rice, the director of the DPEAE said that maize and potatoes will be grown in the coming days.

The Speaker of the National Assembly also asked to tell him about the budget of that modern dam. The Minister replied that this dam was built on a budget of about 17 billion BIF.

He indicated that currently, it is the citizens who propose the projects that they consider beneficial for them, unlike before where it was the technical and financial partners who used to propose them and beneficiaries lacked monitoring at their departure.

The NA Speaker closed the second day of the trip by commending the various achievements of the Ministry in charge of the Environment and affirmed that the budget allocated to that ministry as well as different fund ratifications have recorded positive results on the ground.

The visit continued on Wednesday November 20 at the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Burundi being built by Chinese cooperation, in Kizina village of Gihanga commune (northwestern Burundi).

According to the Chinese ambassador to Burundi, that center will have the role of training agro-pastoral technicians, building the capacity of the staff of the Ministry in charge of the Agriculture and Livestock, and the popularization of the advanced techniques in the agricultural sector. He said that there will also be demonstration fields and a laboratory for the multiplication of selected rice and maize seeds. The goal is to increase agricultural production, according to him. He gave the example of rice from 5 to about 14 tons per hectare. There will also be modern livestock and a feed processing workshop, added the Chinese ambassador to Burundi.

Note that the Speaker of the NA was accompanied by all the MPs.

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