From this 28 August to 2 September, a National Farmers’ Trade Fair has taken place at the “Lycée Scheppers Nyakabiga”. According to the participants, there is still a long way to go to face the farmers’ challenges – by Diane Uwimana
It was not easy to get into the “Lycée Scheppers Nyakabiga” last week. Security was apparently strengthened. There were a checking point and a payment of BIF 1000 for the entrance fees.
“Fees were just fixed for preventing thieves and chaotic situations”, indicates Epaphrodite Semyampi, the Communication Officer in the Associations’ Confederation of the Agricultural Producers for Development “, CAPAD.
However, the participants on that Trade Fair criticize the payment measure: “this has limited the number of customers and affected our income because we have spent a lot of money to rent stands”, claims N. Vivine from Ngozi province.
It is worth noting that a stand was rented at BIF 200,000, paid to CAPAD. There were 100 stands and 93 were occupied, according to the organizers. Fruit and vegetable were the most products that stood out at the place. The majority of the stands were exploited by women aged less than 35 old.
According to Anicet Nduwimana, the program Manager in CAPAD, the Trade Fair has four objectives: “It was an opportunity for the farmers to exchange about themselves and their products; so, getting contacts and sharing experience.”
According to Désiré Iratunga, in Charge of Marketing and Training in the Burundi Cooperatives “Coopec”, the main objective of the Trade Fair was to advertise the farmers’ products and not to sell. “There were few customers and goods. Customers hadn’t a lot of chance to satisfy their choice”, points out Iratunga.
Mathias Miburo, the Chairman and Legal Representative of CAPAD, have indicated that different pieces of advice and techniques have been acquired during the six days and will allow farmers to improve as well as boost the quality and quantity of their products.
For Joseph Nduwimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, this event will be held every year just to give an opportunity to farmers to make known their products and share experience with others.
Fruit, vegetable, rice, beans, bananas, avocados, fish, soya beans, Gisozi tea, etc are some products exhibited under the “Agriculture is my Profession” theme. 581 people have visited the Trade Fair ground and participation certificate has been given to the different stands’ owners.
CAPAD has organized this event in partnership with OXFAM, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.