International Partnership: Archbishop of Burundi to Visit St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

The Archbishop of Burundi, the Most Reverend Martin Blaise Nyaboho , will travel to Cork following the meeting in Canterbury of the Primates of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, to preach at the Harvest Festival Eucharist in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork on Sunday, 8th October at 11.15 a.m.  All are welcome to attend. Burundi is the current partner with the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in a joint project with Christian Aid and the Bishops’ Appeal.

The Archbishop of Burundi

Beforehand, the Archbishop will be received at the Bishop’s Palace in Cork, by the Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton and Mrs Susan Colton.  A lunch is being hosted by St Fin Barre’s Cathedral afterwards in the Cathedral Centre.

The current overseas partnership and development project of parishes throughout Cork, Cloyne and Ross is with the Anglican Church in Burundi.    The project, being run in partnership also with Christian Aid Ireland and the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal has been supporting partner organisation, The Anglican Church of Burundi (EAB) in the Dioceses of Matana and Makamba as they work with farmers to increase their income; in the short term by supporting them to sustainably increase their production of maize, and in the long term by building the capacity of farmers to adapt to sustainable practices that will endure the changing climate.

Marie-Goreth Ndayiragije

Marie-Goreth Ndayiragije, is the Treasurer of the Dutabarane Cooperative (which translates to “Let’s rescue one another”). Here are some insights from one aspect of this partnership project between Cork and Burundi from her:

Has this project increased your income?

There’s a substantial difference. Whatever income we get we use to sustain this business and to support our families.

The main advantage is the training that I went through with the co-operative, I’m able to replicate with my family; I have some other fields that I grow crops on so my family are also benefitting from the training that we’ve had.

My wish for the future of is that we could move from production to processing. Sometimes we get big quantities produced but it ends up being spoiled – sometimes the market isn’t as stable as we’d like (because of the timings of the harvest). My other wish is that we need transport costs to help with getting the maize to market.”

What should people pray for? 

That we live long (us and the co-op!) and for the capability to process.

Pray for peace and security in our country and in our region. That the co-op remains together and coherent so that it can grow bigger.

And for a processing factory and access to finance for transport and storage.

This project is also working with the cooperatives to ensure they have sound business plans for the future, and will be in a strong position to process and market their crops on a much bigger scale in the future, with the aim of improving the income and financial security of their members.

As of October 2017 these are the current project activities:

  • Governance of cooperatives through establishment of committees and ensuring the co-operative has strong structures, and can undertake accurate data collection.
  • Sensitisation of the farmers on the importance of inclusive development in cooperatives, that benefits all people, both men and women.
  • Mobilisation of farmers into Farmer Field Schools and Learning Groups. To date farmers have been taking part in training on how to combat issues such as soil erosion, how to select high quality manure and how to adapt to climate smart farming techniques.
  • Capacity building (both on the technical side like sessions on Good Agronomic Practices, Intercropping, and on the entrepreneurial/management side: through attending training on Business planning, market selection, etc.).

Maize remains the preferred crop as it does not require significant investments in terms of inputs, and according to the Staple Foods Value Chain Analysis by USAID, since 1990, maize has not only been the main staple food of most Burundians, but has also been the main cereal grown.

Maize flour is preferred to cassava flour due to its nutritional richness. Families consume it in many forms – grilled, whole, as a cake, or as a porridge. The cornmeal/bran by-product of maize processing is often used as an animal feed, and there is an increasing demand for it to be an additional product in poultry feed.

In Makamba and Matana, families are using husked maize flour for food consumption, and it also appears on menus in restaurants. It is clear that if the communities had access to reliable processing machines that they would be able to sell their crops directly to the processing unit, would be able to begin to satisfy the demand for the crop, and would generate additional employment within the communities.

These processing machines cost approximately £10,000 each.

More information about Archbishop Nyaboho may be found HERE.


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