Burundi is an agrarian country with more than 90% of population living in rural areas as community farmers with very small, overworked, hand-cultivated plots, using low production, traditional methods. Burundi experiences tremendous poverty, hunger, famine, serious food insecurity and extreme malnutrition (a 60% chronic malnutrition rate among the children of Burundi).
Burundi needs to increase its agriculture productivity. By training community farmers to use modern, more productive agriculture methods, such as Farming God’s Way, agriculture productivity would increase significantly. It has been suggested that consideration be given to developing a collaborative Agriculture Extension Program with collaborative Agriculture Extension Services for community farmers in their own fields, including (1) accessible practical training on modern more productive techniques; (2) accessible practical demonstration of modern more productive techniques; and, (3) accessible ongoing, follow-up support on using modern more productive techniques.
The Free Methodist Church of Burundi (FMCBu), Hope Africa University and Friends for Hope Africa University (FHAU) are now all involved in agriculture development in Burundi. The FMCBu has numerous agriculture activities in numerous locations throughout Burundi. HAU has developed a two-year academic agriculture program and 64 recent graduates. FHAU has provided scholarships and other support for the HAU agriculture program. Since 2011, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund (HMODF) has become an agriculture development fund with 29 agriculture development projects and enjoyed the benefits of being associated with the FMCBu, HAU and FHAU.
The purpose of this Bulletin is to describe a collaborative Agriculture Development Workshop that took place on Friday, February 10, 2023. The senior partners, hosts and sponsors for the Workshop were the FMCBu, HAU and FHAU and the HMODF was asked to serve as the organizing organization.
The Workshop was developed by a collaborative Planning Committee with three representatives from the Church, three representatives of the University and two representatives of the HMODF (see below for photographs of the Planning Committee members).
- Abraham NTWENGERABANSI, Administrative Assistant, FMCBu
- Antoinette NIJIMBERE, National Coordinator, International Child Care Ministries (ICCM), FMCBu
- Audace MPAWENIMANA, Director, Community Mobilization, FMCBu
- Cyprien NTUNZWENIMANA, Instructor, Agriculture Academic Program, HAU
- Emmanuel MVUYEKURE, Head, Agriculture Academic Program, HAU
- Susan Muchiri, Head, Social Work and Community Development Department, HAU
- Dieudonné IRAMBONA, Program Coordinator, HMODF
- John McCready, Program Director, HMODF; Senior Advisor on Development, HAU
Participation in the Workshop was by invitation only and invitations were extended to selected individuals who are connected with agriculture development: invitations were extended to 32 people from the FMCBu, 63 people from HAU (including 36 recent graduates of the HAU Agriculture Program) and 15 people from the HMODF.
The Workshop was the first time people from the Church, the University, Friends (FHAU) and the HMODF have come together to consider agriculture development. The Workshop was the first time that FHAU has provided some financial support for a collaborative Special Event. The purpose of the Workshop was to provide an opportunity for the agriculture development connected personnel from each of the four organizations to learn about the agriculture development programs and activities of the other organizations.
The all-day Agriculture Development Workshop was a big success; the Workshop was well-attended and very well-received. The feedback from the participants was very positive and encouraging. Some participants expressed interest in having comparable workshops in the future. It is hoped that the Workshop will contribute to some additional collaboration on extending agriculture development; accessible practical training, demonstration and support, to more and more community farmers throughout Burundi.
Agriculture Development and Community Farmers: Getting Active at the Community Level
- To define and describe agriculture and livestock development as part of holistic Christian ministry, Christian education and Christian service
- To describe the need and the opportunity for agriculture and livestock development and its importance to development in Burundi
- To describe the internal partners current agriculture and livestock activities
- To report the findings and recommendations of a agriculture community needs assessment for agriculture and livestock development in Burundi
- To motivate and mobilize the participants to become active in collaborative agriculture and livestock development for community farmers in their own fields throughout Burundi
- To develop and publish a workshop report of presentations and proceedings and to develop articles and photographic and video resources (see below for name and photograph of the Publication Editor)
AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP PROGRAM
Welcome to Workshop, Master of Ceremony, Abraham NTWENGERABANSI, Administrative Assistant, Free Methodist Church of Burundi (FMCBu)
Opening Prayer, Rev. Jean Pierre NTAHIMPERA, Chaplain and Head of Theology Department, Hope Africa University (HAU)
Brief Introduction to Collaborating Partners
- Free Methodist Church of Burundi (FMCBu)
- Hope Africa University (HAU)
- Friends of Hope Africa University (FHAU)
- Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund (HMODF)
Greetings and Brief Presentation
Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock; representing Minister Dr. Sanctus NIRAGIRA, Director General of Resources, Lazare NSAGUYE
Community Mobilization, Holistic Transformation, Bishop Déogratias NSHIMIYIMANA, Free Methodist Church of Burundi (FMCBu)
Bishop Deo provided a powerful, Biblically-based message on the Christian responsibility to reach out to others and especially the poor. This Keynote Presentation was a great starting point to the Workshop and it provided important background for all of the other presentations.
PRESENTATIONS ON EXISTING AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS
Free Methodist Church of Burundi (FMCoB)
Introduction and Overview of the FMCBu Community Mobilization Program, Executive Secretary, Rev. Evariste BIMENYIMANA
Community Mobilization, Agriculture Development Program, Director, Community Mobilization, Audace MPAWENIMANA
Testimony from a FMCBu Community Farmer, Rev. Raoul DUKORE, Ngozi District
Hope Africa University (HAU)
Introduction and Overview of HAU and the HAU Agriculture Program, Rector, Dr. Victor BARANTOTA
Academic Agriculture Program, Head, Agriculture Academic Program, Emmanuel MVUYEKURE
Why Agriculture Development, What Is It and Why Is It Important?, Head, Social Work and Community Development, Susan Muchiri
Friends of Hope Africa University (FHAU)
Introduction and Overview of HAU, President, Dr. Betty Overton
The Goals of the Modern University: A Modest Proposal for HAU’s Agricultural Program
Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund (HMODF)
Introduction to HMODF and General Program Description, Founder and Program Director, Dr. John McCready
How the HMODF Works, Program Coordinator, Rev. Dieudonne IRAMBONA
Testimony from a HMODF Community Farmer, Josephine NIVYONYENE, Kabezi Commune
Agriculture Community Needs Assessment: Findings and Conclusions, HMODF Project Manager, HAU Graduate Student, Barthelemy MINANI
WORKSHOP SUPPORT PERSONNEL
Agriculture Development Workshop Publication Editor
The expectation is that there will be at least a French and English publication on the Workshop presentations and proceedings. The assignment of coordinating the development of the Workshop publication has been given to Dr. Simon NGENDAKUMANA, Head of Pedagogy, Hope Africa University.
Agriculture Development Workshop, Planning Committee Members
HAU Workshop Administration Committee Members