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Jacqueline, a sunflower seed and vegetable farmer from Burundi, stands among long grass

Renewable energy and gender empowerment

Increasing financial security for farmers in Burundi

In an exciting partnership with the Isle of Man Government’s International Development Partnerships scheme, and with support from churches and individuals in the Isle of Man, this project will increase the incomes and financial security of around 6,400 poor and marginalised farmers across five districts in Burundi.

The project will increase the incomes of poor, rural farmers by addressing the Sustainable Development Goals of 'Affordable and clean energy' and 'Life on land'. It also champions the goal on gender equality across all project activities, and provides health support and assistance to rural women and children.

Background

Burundi has one of the highest rates of poverty in the world. More than 15 years of civil war, combined with a fragile political process and recurrent climatic shocks, have further weakened its economic infrastructure.

More than 64% of Burundians live below the national poverty line. Rural communities of small-scale farmers face many difficulties. Female farmers, in particular, struggle to access markets and generate a sustainable living through agriculture. And with one of the lowest rates of electricity coverage in the world, opportunities for processing crops and strengthening incomes are limited.

Key activities

  • Provide equipment for a solar-powered coffee processing station for the women’s coffee brand 'Horamama' (meaning 'encouragement')
  • Provide training for 1,623 female coffee farmers in producing high-quality, certified organic coffee
  • Support 18 coffee cooperatives with management and marketing, benefiting over 4,000 coffee farmers
  • Provide a biogas-powered processor to 450 female palm oil farmers, reducing deforestation and air pollution and generating marketable fertiliser
  • Train 600 women on establishing enterprises powered by renewable energy, and facilitate access to micro-loans for enterprises
  • Provide health training and education to over 8,000 women
  • Establish women’s sunflower farmers cooperative to increase access to markets and fair prices, benefiting over 300 farmers.
A female coffee farmer standing in front of trees in Burundi

Valérie Cishahayo is a coffee farmer in Ngozi. She received a beehive in exchange for planting 50 new coffee trees, which will help supplement her income until the trees are ready for harvesting. Photo: Christian Aid/Sarah Rowe