In the course of the workshop on the presentation of the results of the Project CFC/ICO/30 executed in Burundi from January 2008 to December 2011, participants were unanimous on the advantages of the Project for the beneficiary producers and its contribution both to ensuring food security and to improving income of coffee farmers.
The Fast Track Project aimed at consolidating the existing credit system that enabled the coffee farmers to diversify their income basis through the development of additional crops, especially the livestock in order to reduce their dependence on coffee. This enhanced capacity building of the farmers and their cooperatives while improving their relation with financial institutions.
Eight (8) sites in total were selected, located around the Coffee Washing Stations (CWS) of Karinzi, Kinyovu, Kiririma and Mustinda in Buyenzi Region, Mugina and Kirasa in Mumirwa Region, Taba and Korane in Kirimiro Region. The sites were selected on the basis of a good organization of their association (union); the importance of coffee in their economy; as well as the rate of the loan recovery (at least 70%) for the project CFC/ICO/30. In total 604 beneficiary farmers were selected.
The project led to improved soil fertility and the promotion of organic fertilization of food crops and coffee trees; improved production and welfare of the coffee farmers; and strengthening of farmers’ skills in choosing projects and management thereof.
The project achieved its objectives, among which:
- 604 coffee farmers reached envisaged production levels of diversification crops by 95% and increased the number of animals owned by them by 144% on average.
- Farmers were trained on an ongoing basis and through two specific training sessions on modern agricultural production practices and credit management
- The project has shown the importance of production diversification to offset income reductions in case coffee production declines. It has been shown that for smallholders in particular, animal rearing in the context of production diversification, is an important means to stabilize income.
- Credit terms could possibly be expanded from one season/year to two seasons/years in order to avoid repayment problems in the case of one less production season.
A final report has been prepared by the PEA in both English and French and can be found by following the above link.