In Burundi and other sub-Saharan African countries, sustainable agriculture is indispensable. Many smallholder subsistence farmers face low agricultural productivity due to continued environmental degradation, climate change, low efficiency of their production systems, and the absence of affordable inputs. Implementing sustainable agriculture requires that farmers are trained to rethink their attitudes towards outdated practices and adopt new techniques instead. In this framework, AgrarKontakte International (AKI) e.V. and project partners in Gitega, Burundi, offered a three-day practical training on sustainable agriculture with the motto: “to be connected with nature requires natural maintenance” during 6-9 March 2023.
The primary aim of the training was to disseminate the knowledge gained to farmers and communities in the project areas and create awareness of permaculture principles and ethics among the local people. The local project team organized the training.
In total, 50 local farmers participated in the three-day training, of which 98% were female. Among the participants, 20 were disadvantaged women living in the project area, and 30 came from neighboring villages. This high proportion of female participation shows women’s crucial role in Burundi agriculture and the high interest of female farmers in training offered at the Agri-social Education and Training Centre.
The training focused on the following important topics based on the ethics of permaculture (Earth care, People care, and Fair share):
The three-day training was completed successfully. The participants learned much about protecting their land against erosion, conserving the soil and water, and increasing productivity using organic manure.
The project coordinator on the site, Mr. Pierre Maniragarura, reported on the success of the training:
“The local farmers who came to the training became aware that natural resources are the key to future prosperity. They were also convinced that any action that damages, pollutes, or destroys the natural environment has the same effect on people”.
The project “Establishment of an AgriSocial Education and Training Centre in Gitega, Burundi“ is funded by the Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection - Baden-Württemberg (MLR) since August 2020.