Recent history of Burundi is characterized by inter-ethnic and inter-regional infighting for political power. From 1993 the country has been engulfed in a long civil war, which lasted until 2003.
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Since the end of the war the security setting for the general population has improved. The end of the war resulted in positive growth rates in recent years (3.9% in 2010). However, the Burundian formal economy is very small and generates little demand for jobs. 90% of the population still depends on subsistence agriculture for survival yet they produce only about 40% of the GDP. The increasing scarcity of land creates serious problems in Burundi. This has caused a range of social cleavages and struggles within families over inheritance of land.
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT - FOOD SECURITY
ICCO is implementing the Microfinance, Agri-finance and Value Chains (MAVC), a four years (2014 - 2018) project implemented and co-financed by ICCO and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The MAVC project aims to increase the income and food security of 150,000 households through better access to rural microfinance and an integrated approach to development and value chain financing.
￼The MAVC program works with smallholder farmers, mainly focusing on women and youth, and with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can be connected to business incubation centers such as BBIN-SPARK or ICCO Investments.
Using the Making Markets Work for the Poor approach (M4P), MAVC aims at influencing the market systems so they can work more effectively and sustainably for the marginalized rural poor farmers, in order for them to improve their livelihoods and consequently reduce poverty.
The project is focusing on the banana, cassava, potato and rice value chains.