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Isle of Man Government Project

Renewable Energy and Gender Empowerment

Find out how support from the Isle of Man Government increased 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, we invested in a project designed to increase the incomes and financial security of around 6,400 poor and marginalised farmers across five districts in Burundi.

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.

What was delivered

The support from the Isle of Man enabled us to -

  • 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.

Impact of your support

As a result of this support -

  • Empowered coffee farmers are better linked to renumerative markets through strengthened coffee cooperatives, increased quality of the Horamama Women Brand, and investment in renewable energy processors.
  • Marginalised women and girls are socially empowered through community health resilience and economically strengthened through the creation of a women’s sunflower producers organisation, and have better access to finance for renewable energy powered enterprises.

Special thanks to the project sponsor, the IOM Government, whose funding was pivotal to bringing this project to life.