WP24 Scoping Paper Burundi
Burundi is a small, landlocked country whose arable land is only 36%. The country is situated between 2.3°S to 4.5°S of latitude and 28.8°E to 31°E of longitude. It borders Tanzania in the east and south, Rwanda in the north and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west. Burundi covers about 27.834 km² of which 2,500 km² is lakes and 23,500 km² is potentially agricultural land. Its population was estimated at 8,060,000 inhabitants in 2008 (about 9.5 million in 2014). Agricultural households account for more than 90 per cent, and 51 per cent of the total population are women. The annual growth rate of the population is about 3 per cent and the population density was 310 inhabitants per km². The population density was, however, 400 inhabitants per km² in the provinces of the North and West (Ngozi, Kayanza, Bujumbura Rural, Muramvya) according to the General Census of Population and Habitat (RGPH) 2008. During the last decade, the growth of agricultural production (2%) was lower than the rate of increase of the population around (3%).
With a mean cultivated area of 0.5 ha per household, the farm has reached its limits as the main source of food and income. The decrease in the area under cultivation is indeed due to a continuous phenomenon of land subdivision. This arises from inheritance customs where every successive generation entitled to inherit land entails the division of the available land into many parts as there are heirs. Most farms have multiple scattered plots and many of them are tiny. These plots are not enough to ensure the food suiciency of the population, given that the cultural system is also traditional, with low level technology, low utilization of modern inputs and ineicient resource allocations.