Summary of SRI in Burundi

Training on the System of Rice Intensification has been ongoing in Burundi since 2010. The International Fund for Agriculture and Development’s (IFAD) PAIVA-B project (Projet d’appui à l’intensification et à la valorisation agricoles du Burundi) implemented SRI in the Karusi and Ngozi provinces with over 2,600 farmers. Projects have reported rice yields increasing for one to five tons per hectare. Flooded Cellar Productions created a video that highlights some of the principles of SRI and some of the successes and impacts of SRI on farmers in Burundi. Additional Flooded Cellar videos are located on their YouTube channel in English and French. In collaboration with the Burundi government, IFAD has continued their support of SRI in several areas, including, among others, Karusi, Ngozi and Bujumbura provinces.

Progress and Activities

2017 Updates
  • arrowPROPA-O Project Makes Progress with SRI and Other Activities[August 24,2017] According to an IWACU article, PROPA-O* Project, which aims to eradicate malnutrition and achieve food security, is making significant progress; beneficiaries say they are satisfied. Swamps have been developed, storage facilities have been constructed and animals have been distributed. The activities are intended to not only increase production, but establish access to markets. In the Mutimbuzi Marsh, farmers hope to produce more by adopting SRI. In particular, the provinces Bujumbura, Cankuzo and Ruyigi have recorded significant results. In the province of Bujumbura, PROPA-O has promoted SRI with 246 rice farmers on 96 ha. in the Mutimbuzi commune, which is located in the Maramvya-Kirekura area. To do this, the project rehabilitated the Muzazi Dam, constructed irrigation and drainage works to capture water on the Muzazi River in order to irrigate the rice fields: “Before there were only fields of beans and corn. Rice cultivation based on SRI techniques is new in the region,” according to Privat Baranjeguye, head of the agriculture and infrastructure component.

    Following a 10-day SRI training in December 2106, Gabriel Ntampera, applied the lessons in his 27 are field. “With 2 kilograms of Watt rice seeds planted, I harvested 950 kilograms and 1,124 kilograms on two kilograms planted with V1380.” For him, the SRI technique has several advantages. First of all, it saves seeds: “2kg was enough while before I used 20kg on a field of the same dimensions”, to increase production yields, going from single to double, while reducing by half the water requirements of the plant. “A seed yields several plants. This means that 1 kilogram can produce between 800 and 900 kilos of rice. The production takes only 140 days including the time of the nurseries, which allows me to practice two rice seasons per year, “he says. Besides the cultivation of rice in the marsh, PROPA-O distributed cows and pigs in this commune. The cow dung helps fertilize the field. [* PROPA-O is a project of the Burundi Government financed by the commission of the European Union for a duration of 58 months. It covers 8 provinces of the Imbo and Moso regions: Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Makamba, Rutana, Ruyigi and Cankuzo. It is under the supervision of IFAD and its implementation involves PRODEFI, ACORD and CAPAD NGOs as well as three agencies of the United Nations system: FAO, WFP and UNICEF].

  • arrow IFAD Extends SRI Methods through the Imbo and Moso National Program for Food Security and Rural Development (PNSADR-IM)[July 20, 2017] According to an Ikiriho news article and video, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is committed to strengthening the capacity of rice farms through the Imbo and Moso National Program for Food Security and Rural Development (PNSADR-IM). In the Buhinyuza rice fields of the Ntahangwa commune in the Kinama area, 79 rice farmers in four Champs Ecole Producteurs (CEP) have been studying SRI since April. “In this system, we use a new approach known as CEP to introduce producers to technical innovations,” said Thérence Niyondagara, who is in charge of PNSADR-IM. “Thanks to the 15 master trainers from the different Provincial Directorates of Agriculture who were trained by a Beninese specialist, these 79 farmers were able to benefit from this knowledge,” he added. According to the officials of the Provincial Directorates of Agriculture and Livestock (DPAE) who received the training, the CEP uses a comparative approach to highlight differences between the traditional practice and SRI.

    The news article explains that SRI gives farmers a good production without a lot of expense. “The system does not require a lot of seed as is the case with the old practice: only one seed can produce enough provided that the golden rule is respected,” says Edmond Uwobikundiye of the CIBIToke DPEA. Rice growers who have been trained and supervised by master trainers in the rice-growing area of ​​Buhinyuza prove their satisfaction by highlighting the benefits of the SRI. “We once spent more but did not expect an abundant harvest that can reward efforts and cost Says Jacqueline Niyonzima, Representative of the Associated CEP Tujehamwe, “Today, we have already found that SRI is far more productive than the old method,” she adds. However, “SRI requires organic manure; we ask the government and anyone else who is able to give us livestock to help us out with the organic inputs,” asks Survie Ndayirorere, Representative of the associated CEP Terimbere. [See article and video for details.]

  • arrow Farmers in Burundi Report on SRI Advantages[July 7, 2017] According to an article in the IWACU online news, rice farmers in Burundi have found that SRI allows seed savings, increased production and good management of irrigation water. Privat Barajenguye, agricultural engineer with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) noted that “Before it was introduced, 80 to 100 kg of seed was used per hectare. This has been reduced to no more than 12 to 20 kg on the same area.” He added that a single plant transplanted at the young age, from 12 to 15 days max, will have between 50 to 60 thalli (tilllers). SRI ensures that production is doubled or even tripled and, where production was 3 to 4 tons per hectare, production now turns to ten tons.

    Barajenguye specified that all varieties are compatible with this system, adding that good farming practices, including good soil leveling, spacing and water management are important. “If you plant too densely, the plants compete and choke each other.” He adds that the SRI also requires perfect control of the water and thus allows its proper management; instead of a 10 cm water table, it is limited to 5 cm. “We go back after a week as soon as we see that the soil is more or less dry to irrigate again” notes the agricultural engineer, adding that it is not obligatory to leave the roots submerged in water.

    Rice growers are enthusiastic. “Out of one hectare, the harvest was limited to a maximum of 1.5 tonnes. Currently, with the introduction of SRI, it is around 6 tons,” says Claver Bucumi (right), chief of the Nyakijima II rice marsh in Ngozi, which has over three thousand rice farmers. “15 kg of seeds are currently enough for one ha.” An TV interview with Bucumi about his SRI experience is posted on YouTube’s Africa News channel. He is confident that this new system has revolutionized this area. The same goes for Gabriel, a rice farmer from Mutimbuzi commune, Bujumbura province. Over one ha, 120 kg or more of seed was used with the old seedling system, he recalls, and production was low. Today, on the same area, it needs only ten kg to harvest about ten tons. [See IWARU article for details.]

2014-2015 Updates
  • arrow Update on SRI Use in BurundiGilbert Bizimungu, who was a manager with the IFAD-supported PAIVA-B project (Project to Assist the Intensification and Validation of Agriculture in Burundi) when SRI was first introduced in Burundi in 2010 by two technical assistance teams from Madagascar, has reported that SRI methods have been raising paddy yields for farmers in his country from 1.5 t/ha on average to between 3 and 5 t/ha, depending on how many of the SRI practices are used, and how well they are used. A 2015 report on the PAIVA-B project notes that the SRI results have been especially successful in the marsh areas. A video produced for IFAD and SRI-Rice by Flooded Cellar Productions in the UK tells the story of SRI introduction, spread, methods and impact in Burundi. Bizimungu has provided the current brochure on the some SRI extension material recently published by the Ministere de l’Agriculture et de l’Elevage. The Fiche technique harmonisee pour la riziculture au Burundi, now available on the SRI-Rice website, describes the SRI practices which are being communicated to Burundian farmers.
2012-2013 Updates


  • arrow IFAD Projects Bring SRI to Burundi’s Karusi and Ngozi ProvincesInternational Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President Kanayo Nwanze and the second Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, M. Gervais Rufyikiri, recently visited two IFAD projects in the provinces of Karusi (central Burundi) and Ngozi (northern Burundi).

    More than 2,600 farmers, including 50% women, have been applying System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods on 150 hectares of marsh area in Nyabiho, Gitaramuka commune, Karusi province under the IFAD-funded PAIVA-B project (Projet d’appui à l’intensification et à la valorisation agricoles du Burundi) that supports agricultural intensification in Burundi. The beneficiaries, who have also formed a rice cooperative, said that yields have increased dramatically with SRI from one tonto five tons/hectare. They also use three hectares for seed multiplication.

    Nwanzelors and Rufyikiri also visited the 94-hectare marsh area of Kigoma in Ngozi province, which would begin SRI development in 2012 with IFAD financing. As of now, six hectares are already being used to Mathilde explaining SRI after visit to Rwandaproduce high quality seeds with the SRI method under the IFAD funded PRODEFI (Programme de développement des filières). (See article in Afriquinfos and item on the website of Burundi’s president for more information.)

    The video SRI in East in Southern Africa (right)includes an interview with one of the farmers who adopted SRI in Karusi’s Rusimbuko marsh after learning about it through the PAIVA-B project. The photo at left shows Mathilde (left side of photo), one of the farmers sent to Rwanda to learn about SRI, explaining the benefits of SRI to one of the local farmers interested in trying out the methods for herself.

Reports and Articles

Practical Information