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Project Name

Support for Sustainable Food Production and Enhancement of Food Security and Climate Resilience in Burundi's Highlands

GEF Implementing Agency



To increase the adoption of resilient, improved production systems for sustainable food security and nutrition through integrated landscape management and sustainable food value chains.


Salvator Ndabirorere


Project Targets

30,000 ha

land under integrated and sustainable management

126,133 MtCO2e

GHG emissions avoided or reduced


beneficiary households




Stakeholders engaged

Burundi’s economy is dominated by small-scale rainfed agriculture. 50% of the country’s land area is dedicated to small-scale farming and more than 90% of the total population relies on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood. 

In Burundi’s highlands, environmental degradation has resulted in persistently low crop and livestock productivity, loss of ecosystem services and loss of agrobiodiversity. This decline in agricultural productivity has not only increased food insecurity for millions of smallholder farmers, but also contributes to poverty, social conflict, rural-urban migration and vulnerability to climate change. These impacts are particularly felt amongst vulnerable population groups, including women, youth, and the elderly.

This project uses an innovative, multisectoral approach, involving coordination at national, provincial, and local levels to ensure support for sustainable land management. This approach focuses on establishing policy platforms and knowledge sharing mechanisms to help strengthen national- and local-level support systems. 

The project is structured around three principal components: 

  1. Strengthening institutional frameworks and support mechanisms;
  2. Improving livelihoods and food security through integrated watershed management, establishing competent producer organisations and developing sustainable food systems; and
  3. Monitoring and assessing global environmental benefits and socio-economic impacts to inform decision-making.

The lessons and good practices of the project are captured and promoted by the Farmer Field Schools (FFS). This approach to the systematization of knowledge management supports the replication and scaling-up of project results in the country and across the region. 

Overall, the project is designed to benefit 33,534 rural households through the support of catchment-level planning, improved agricultural practices, operationalisation of Farmer Field Schools, restoration of degraded land, and sustainable land management. 

The project aims to meet the following targets:

Institutional frameworks and support mechanisms strengthened.

  • Strengthen Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Working Groups (GSADR) at national and provincial levels.
  • Establish watershed management committees and multi-year plans at project sites.
  • Establish functioning multi-stakeholder knowledge sharing mechanism at national, provincial, and local levels.
  • Operationalise national strategy for harmonisation of FFS-INRM in the 3 provinces.

Livelihoods and food security improved through integrated watershed management.

  • Place 30,000 ha under Sustainable Land Management, including an increase in diversified cropland productivity.
  • Promote conservation and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity, with a focus increasing the genetic diversity of crops and animals by 15-25%.  
  • Avoid or sequester 120,000 tons of CO2e emissions over a period of five years from an increase in the amount of biomass, soil organic carbon and tree cover in the project area.

Monitoring and Assessment systems established to track global environmental benefits and socio-economic impacts.

  • Train government staff and extension workers on use of Monitoring and Assessment tools and approaches.
  • Train pre-cooperatives and FFS groups on use of impact monitoring tools. 

At the national level, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MINAGRIE) is the lead government counterpart and coordinating agency in this project and works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Environment, Spatial and Urban Planning (MEEATU).

At the provincial level, the decentralized structures of the two ministries are involved with the Provincial Directorates of Agriculture and Livestock (DPAE) and with the Burundi Office for the Protection of the Environment (OBPE). 

At the communal level, the project interventions are supervised by the communal or zonal agronomist. The capacities of Farmer Field School Groups, cooperatives, and watershed committees are being reinforced to support local communities, who are the main beneficiaries of the project. 

Project Activities

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Stories from the Field

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Relevant Resources

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