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Open Food Network Burundi

We want to set up the Open Food Network in Burundi

Photo of Sylvestre NKIZWANAYO
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

AGḮR (Agence d'Importation et d'Implimentation des Inovations Réusies)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Investment-based Organization

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Bujumbura

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Burundi

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Burundi

What country is your selected Place located in?

Burundi

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I am of Burundian nationality and resident in Burundi. At the moment I have three complementary skills, namely the management of information systems, the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects as well as planning focused on resilience. This experience has been acquired in projects funded by major donors and UN agencies such as the World Bank, the European Union, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, ... ect. I then have the ambition to put my expertise to the development of my country

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Burundi is 27,830 square kilometres in size. We have land borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. We are a landlocked country but have a shoreline on the largest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika. Burundi straddles the crest of the Congo-Nile Divide which separates the basins of the Congo and Nile rivers. The farthest headwaters of the Nile, the Ruvyironza River, has its source in Burundi. Burundi is is home to about 10 million people and is the 2nd most densely-populated country, second only to Rwanda. Burundi is made up of three main groups of people called the Twa, the Tutsi, and the Hutu. Every Saturday from 8am-11am, everyone in the country must stop what they’re doing so that they can instead contribute to community enhancing activities. These things can include planting fruit trees on the street, picking up trash, and cleaning hospitals. This practice is called Ibikorwa rusangi and was vital to promoting good cross-cultural relations. Every area in the country is used for something. There are 600 square km of natural, untouched forest. The rest of the country is almost entirely used for farming. The cuisine of Burundi is based mainly on beans, bananas, plantains, maize, cassava, sweet potato, peas and cereals. There is not much protein in the Burundian diet. The Hutu majority do not keep livestock often, so much of the food is made of plant-based sources. Actually, meat accounts for 2% or less of the average diet in Burundi, and there is very little fat in the average Burundian diet. This lack of nutrients has led to a widespread disease in Burundi called kwashiorkor. This disease causes the limbs and belly to swell with fluid (edema). Many children in Burundi are underdeveloped because of this disease.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

10000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. The cuisine of Burundi is based mainly on beans, bananas, plantains, maize, cassava, sweet potato, peas and cereals. There is not much protein in the Burundian diet. The Hutu majority do not keep livestock often, so much of the food is made of plant-based sources. Actually, meat accounts for 2% or less of the average diet in Burundi, and there is very little fat in the average Burundian diet. This lack of nutrients has led to a widespread disease in Burundi called kwashiorkor. This disease causes the limbs and belly to swell with fluid (edema). Many children in Burundi are underdeveloped because of this disease. In Burundi, as in the majority of African countries, the connection between producers and consumers is not yet structured. There is almost no absence of Hubs bringing producers together to sell their crops and bringing traders together to facilitate supply. Everyone is going to stock up on local producers' markets. This state of affairs limits the domestic production because producers are not sure if they will have buyers once they increase their production and traders will buy in neighboring countries because they are sure they will have the quantities needed at the same place.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The Open Food network is an open source platform that enables new, ethical supply chains. Food producers can sell online, wholesalers can manage buying groups and supply produce through networks of food hubs and shops. Communities can bring together producers to create a virtual farmers’ market, building a resilient local food economy. We believe that to build a better food system, we need to work together in new ways. We think it’s possible to create a food system with social and ecological health at its core. We want to build a new food system that is fair, local, and transparent.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

In 2050, Burundi will be a country where shoppers, buyers, traders, producers and farmers will be interconnected through the Open Food Network. OFN will provide a chain of functional links giving control of food demand and supply back to the eaters and the farmers. This system will provide the entire population of Burundi with affordable, nutritious food. Using this network of collaboration the farmers and traders of the same locality will be able to cooperate to distribute and sell food collectively. The farmers and other producers will be able to self-organized in groups to cross-sell each other’s produce and collectively aggregate to fulfil bulk orders from large buyers. The advance ordering of food from producer hubs will help farmers and producers to decide whether to increase or decrease their agricultural production of particular crops. As we shorten the supply chain between the farmers and the eaters, we will bring down the cost of food to the eaters. This will allow the local demand for food to increase, this increasing the volumes of produce (and therefore the income) of the farmers and growers. These producers will then be able to extend the range of crops which they grow for local consumption.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

In Burundi, as in the majority of African countries, the connection between producers and consumers is not yet structured. There is almost no absence of Hubs bringing producers together to sell their crops and bringing traders together to facilitate supply. Everyone is going to stock up on local producers' markets. This state of affairs limits the domestic production because producers are not sure if they will have buyers once they increase their production and traders will buy in neighboring countries because they are sure they will have the quantities needed at the same place. While looking on the net a tool that could contribute effectively to correct this situation, I find very powerful OFN. That's why I'm going to start creating Open Food Burundi Netwark. Here is my goal and general objectives Goal: Optimize the connection between producers and consumers. General objectives : 1) Development of short circuits by encouraging the creation of the hubs of producers and distributors 2) Deployment of Open Food Network tools for these hubs, producers and consumers Through the development of short circuits, we supported organizational models that will connect producers and eaters, but also, organize and rationalize sales and supply logistics involving several local actors in various organizational and economic models: Direct sales of producers, independent neighborhood stores, buying groups, AMAP, micro-markets, etc. By our actions, we want to support the appropriation of their food systems by individuals, those who produce and eat. It is therefore above all an issue of food sovereignty. For this, we empower the actors by providing them with a platform to support their commercial management (creation of online shops, sales administration). We will also work on the analysis, sharing and spin-off of different short circuit models, and work to facilitate cooperation between actors, particularly by working on the interoperability of food platforms. These actions support the Government of Burundi's policy of creating agro-pastoral cooperatives in all the hills of the country. Promoter of Open Food Burundi: AGḮR (Agency of Importation of Implementation of Successful Innovations) The founder of the young AGḮR organization is an Expert with more than 15 years of experience in information systems management in the planning and monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs. His primary ambition is to leverage his expertise and ICTs for the development of his country in particular and the world at large. AGḮR, wishes to facilitate and support the creation of food hubs by supporting the project leaders, through support guides to the choice of hub model, through spin-off programs in connection with local authorities, etc. This is to support the construction of an offer in response to today's unfulfilled demand for organic, local and accessible products. In the spirit of cooperative platforms, AGḮR wants users of the platform to be also those who decide on its evolution, and projects aimed at supporting the development of the ecosystem. This associative status is for us a temporary step. We have provided in our statutes the opportunity to transform ourselves into CICS when the time comes. Note: Open Food Burundi is a project that is part of the international network Open Food Network, which has communities in a dozen countries. AGḮR intends to adhere to collaborative governance at the international level via a mutual commitment charter of the different local communities and the use of consultation spaces (notably the community forum) on a daily basis. In 2050, Burundi will be a country where shoppers, buyers, traders, producers and farmers will be interconnected through the Open Food Network. OFN will provide a chain of functional links giving control of food demand and supply back to the eaters and the farmers. This system will provide the entire population of Burundi with affordable, nutritious food. Using this network of collaboration the farmers and traders of the same locality will be able to cooperate to distribute and sell food collectively. The farmers and other producers will be able to self-organized in groups to cross-sell each other’s produce and collectively aggregate to fulfil bulk orders from large buyers. The advance ordering of food from producer hubs will help farmers and producers to decide whether to increase or decrease their agricultural production of particular crops. As we shorten the supply chain between the farmers and the eaters, we will bring down the cost of food to the eaters. This will allow the local demand for food to increase, this increasing the volumes of produce (and therefore the income) of the farmers and growers. These producers will then be able to extend the range of crops which they grow for local consumption.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Contact with the Open Food Network's global gardening team

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Team

Thank you so much for the Food Extension Initiative.

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