In Burundi, WFP's Local Food Purchases Help Dreams Come True

WFP is supporting the promotion of food production in Burundi through a home-grown school meals programme in four provinces.  The programme is significantly improving incomes of the smallholder farmers supported through the purchase of their crops. 

Malaisia Baranyikwa has been a farmer for most of her life, but long dreamed of going into real estate.  

Malasia is from Bubanza, one of the three provinces in Burundi where WFP buys food from smallholder farmers organized in cooperatives. This food is then used by WFP in its Home Grown School Meals programme in the region, which provides daily meals for children in school. Malaisia is an active member of the Twizigirane agricultural cooperative, one of the farmers' groups with which WFP is working.

In 2014, Malaisia took out a loan of 5 million Burundian francs (around US$2,858) from a local microfinance institution, and invested the money in rice production. She harvested around 15 metric tons of rice, which she sold to WFP. She invested her profit from the sale into the first installment payment for a plot of residential land. 

In 2015, she was able to sell 12 metric tons of maize to WFP. She immediately paid off the balance of her loan and the remainder of the cost for the land.

Today, Malaisia is making plans for her land. She plans to start building rental apartments next year if her cooperative gets another contract with WFP. She hopes renting out the apartments can bring in a good monthly income. 

Thanks to the support that WFPís Home Grown School Meals programme offers to local farmers, Malaisia is making her dream of becoming a businesswoman come true.


** This story was co-written by Evelyne Guidigbi and Michel Rwamo.  **