Musigati: residents fear famine

Musigati: residents fear famine

There is much fear among the population of the commune of Musigati over the looming famine in the region. The prices of basic food products have doubled or even triple. Traders explain that local production is nearly non-existent. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The harvests have been insufficient due to the rain which fell with delay.

“This time in the past, fresh beans and corn were abundant but the market is empty now,” said a buyer looking for beans at a market in Musigati commune.

From simple, the prices of certain products have tripled, a kg of beans costs 3500 Burundian francs.

“It’s the first time it’s been sold at this price,” laments a civil servant who admits having trouble making ends meet for the month.

Other food items which, however, constituted the symbol of the commune of Musigati are rare and very expensive. This is the case of the plantain banana. A bunch can sell 15,000 francs.

Banana plantations are infested with bacteria, bacterial wilt, according to agronomists.

The policy of cultivating rice in the marshes supported by the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) projects, even in the localities where this culture is not farmed, has not decreased the price of rice. One kg costs 3600 francs on the markets in Bubanza. In Musigati it is 4000.

“We are going to suffer from diseases linked to the lack of food”, complains a sixty-year-old met in Kivyuka in this commune. For a family of 6 children and this is the average in Bubanza, it takes 5000 Burundian francs for a meal.

But per day, a worker barely earns between 2,500 Burundian francs and 3,000 in Bubanza.

“We have children who are going to receive supplements at the communal hospital of Musigati, these are plumpy nut for the malnourished. They must be multiplied”, pleads a mother met in Kivyuka.

She struggles in the sale of potatoes bought from traders who bring them from Kayanza (northern Burundi).

An elected official from this commune did not mince words.

“There will be no production this cropping season A. This is because of the late arrival of rain, hail and lack of chemical fertilizers”.

“The rugged soil of the foothills of Bubanza is no longer productive”.

“We elected the CNDD-FDD in our commune, the government should do something, by removing taxes on food products for example. Traders would no longer have an excuse to sell us too much”, suggests this local elected official.

According to the office in charge of the environment, agriculture and livestock in Bubanza, the rise in the prices of food products is due to the late sowing caused by the delayed first rain. The provincial official in charge of agriculture hopes that production will be good but that it will be better for cropping season B.

“The decrease in prices is relative to the good production and people should also understand that the population has increased sharply”, explains the office.

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