Youth Are The Pillar of Burundi
In Burundi young people make up over 60% of the population and many cannot find jobs. Young people can revolutionize the agricultural sector to move from substantial agriculture to market-oriented agriculture.
However, youth are disadvantaged in terms of access to natural resources (land), agricultural inputs and access to finance and credit for lack of guarantees. Further, most producer organizations are adult-led and youth initiatives are diluted to the detriment of producer organizations.
Young People in Agribusiness
“These were the main reasons why ICCO Cooperation has been investing in involving and reaching young people through the Microfinance, Agrifinance and Value Chain (MAVC) program since 2014”, explains Alexis Hatungimana, the Capacity Building in Entrepreneurship Officer. “We are strengthening and mentoring young people in agribusiness entrepreneurship. We enable them to acquire management knowledge, to develop business plans but also to learn trades and improve techniques in agriculture. Young people are likely to better adhere to the information and communication technologies. A-CAT, a digital agri-credit assessment tool, is ideally suited to interest young farmers in agricultural financing”.
“I Benefited From the Training”
Egide Nsavyimana, a young orphan from Bubanza province and Sylvie Nimbona from Ruyigi province are among many young people who have benefited from the support of ICCO Cooperation. “Through the MAVC program, the agents of ‘Caisse Cooperative Savings and Credit Mutuel CECM’ came to our association Abanyamwete. I am the only young boy in this association, normally made up of women. All members of this association, including myself, benefited from the training. Thanks to the knowledge acquired, I was able to open an account at the CECM. I assure you that it helped me a lot to always plan my expenses and a few months later, thanks to the A-CAT tool, I could benefit from a loan of 2 million Burundian francs. For me, the spin-offs are enormous. In addition to increasing my agricultural productivity, I was able to buy a cow that currently gives me 9 liters of milk a day. Some of this milk is consumed at home by members of my family and the rest is sold to my neighbors. I confess that for almost two years, I feel really fulfilled“.
“I Was Able to Give Work”
Same story with Sylvie Nimbona from the province of Ruyigi. She says she is very happy and grateful. “ICCO Cooperation first allowed me to participate in a training on welding techniques, then it facilitated me in the acquisition of a welding machine and a grinder. This equipment is used in a welding shop that I created after the training received. I can assure you that I was able to give work to other young people in this workshop, which I provide for my personal needs and those of my family. I was also able to make cassava leg mills that are used in cassava processing. These machines are easily found buyers especially in Rumonge province where the market is conducive“.