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Burundi Praises China's Crucial Role in Boosting Agricultural Development

Burundi, one of the many nations that have benefited from China's flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), highly commends China's help, particularly in the agriculture sector, a top Burundian official told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Shivam Dwivedi
Chinese farming professionals oversaw local cooperatives in several provinces to promote hybrid rice
Chinese farming professionals oversaw local cooperatives in several provinces to promote hybrid rice

"China's agricultural assistance has significantly helped to Burundi's food security. We (Burundi) are grateful for China's assistance," Diomede Ndayirukiye, director general of the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, and Livestock's Territorial Planning, Irrigation, and Heritage Preservation.

Ndayirukiye was also assigned to monitor the actions of the Chinese experts who were brought to Burundi to contribute to the improvement of the country's agriculture and livestock sectors. "Burundi and China have been allies for many years. China has helped Burundi in a variety of sectors, particularly agriculture, to improve its food security," Ndayirukiye added.

According to him, a lot of success was recorded during the fifth mission of Chinese agricultural experts to Burundi, which just ended its term, particularly in the introduction of hybrid rice. "Because of Chinese technology, we moved from three to four metric tonnes of rice per hectare to ten or eleven metric tonnes of rice per hectare," Ndayirukiye explained.

He went on to say that this high output was observed in various areas, particularly in the Gihanga district of Bubanza's western province, where people's lives had been substantially and significantly impacted. "In those provinces, hybrid rice was promoted, and its output skyrocketed. This project reached the vast majority of Burundians "Ndayirukiye stated.

According to the agriculture official, at least 13 of the country's 18 provinces currently grow that strain of rice "with a lot of success." He stated that those Chinese farming professionals oversaw local cooperatives in several provinces to promote hybrid rice, and that the ultimate goal is to "copy technologies that have succeeded in China and popularize them in Burundi through demonstrations and study."

According to Ndayirukiye, Chinese technology that was "exported" to Burundi enhanced fish aquaculture and chicken production. He also stated that in order to assure the sustainability of Chinese assistance, local specialists, interns, and technicians have been taught to use and promote the know-how in their respective regions.

Ndayirukiye stated that the sixth expedition of Chinese experts will arrive shortly and that Burundi looks forward to working with China to boost maize output, pig farming, and rabbit husbandry. Burundi and China have had a fruitful bilateral relationship since 1963. Infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and health are the primary areas of collaboration.

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