Andris PIEBALGS, Member of the EC in charge of Development, visit to Burundi: visit of a tea factory in Mugamba and visit of STABEX palm oil projects - Rural villages, oil extraction, beneficiaries and land issues
Première transmission: 22/02/2013
Fin de production: 21/02/2013
Commissioner Piebalgs to launch new food security and energy projects during his visit to Burundi.
During a two-day visit to Burundi (21-22/02), EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will announce an €18 million new project on food security for the benefit of around 20,000 households and to treat 80,000 undernourished children in the country. He will also launch a second project, worth €50 million, to provide access to sustainable energy for a million of Burundi's citizens, particularly for those living in rural areas.
The food security project, called PROPA-O, is part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Initiative - set up to help those countries who are especially off-track with the MDGs, or reward those who are making particular progress in meeting them. The initiative will aim to improve access to quality agricultural products such as seeds and fertilisers and by helping farmers to access markets (through improved storage, transformation and collection processes).
Another focus of Commissioner's visit will be energy. In Burundi, only 3,5% of people have access to electricity. Lack of access to energy remains a major brake to further development of the country. As Commissioner Piebalgs explained: "There can be no development without energy and, unfortunately, the energy situation in Burundi remains one of the worst in the world, with daily power cuts being experienced by most people." The new initiative (€50 million) could include rural electrification, small and medium hydro projects and measures related to energy infrastructure. The project will also bring the Commission one step closer to delivering on its pledge to provide energy access for 500 million people by 2030 which was made within UN-led Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
In addition to the meeting with President Nkurunziza, Commissioner Piebalgs will also meet Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri, Minister of Finance and Planning Tabu Abdallah Manirakiza, Minister for Health and Minister for Agriculture. He will also meet the UN Special Representative for Burundi, as well as representatives of various international organisations such as UNDP, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He will also hold a meeting with civil society organisations. During all these meetings, Commissioner will insist on the need for the country to accelerate the agenda of reforms and to follow up on commitments that the Government has taken during the International Conference of Geneva in October 2012. Finally, Commissioner Piebalgs will also visit a series of EU-funded development projects to evaluate their implementation, in the area of governance, health and food security.
Since 2004, the EU has financed more than 45 projects all over Burundi in the field of Food Security which have been implemented by almost 25 different organizations amounting to nearly €40 million. These projects have benefited thousands of households, mainly farmers and vulnerable people, through the rehabilitation of rural production factors (land, infrastructure, equipment); the re-launching of production (e.g. increased agricultural productivity, provision of farm inputs, animal husbandry, training capacity building towards farmers and farmers’ organisations); the diversification of rural livelihoods and increase to rural incomes, and the support of the transition from a subsistence agriculture to market oriented one and, most recently, addressing chronic malnutrition. Nevertheless, because food insecurity is a structural issue, a long-term response is needed.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Mid shot Anris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development arriving at a tea factory in Mugamba, Burundi (3 x shots)
||Interior shots including Commissioner Piebalgs viewing tea production
||Wide shot exteriors of tea factory (3 x shots)
||Soundbite (English) by Andris Piebalgs:
''Burundi as a country with nine million people, with a fast growing population but with no actual other natural resources and well not well connected to the ports. So the only place the production of commodities its tea or coffee. So its really crucial to have competitive price. And its small holders that basically produce the tea. So without investment in technology, basically you don't get competitive tea. ''
||Cutaway people at tea factory
||Walking shot Commissioner Piebalgs departing
||Driving shot palm oil plantation
||Commissioner Piebalgs arriving at a STABEX palm oil project (3 x shots)
||Cutaway palm oil plantation
||Mid shot Commissioner Piebalgs discussing issues with project beneficiaries (4 x shots)
||Soundbite (English) by Andris Piebalgs:
"European Union Commissioner for Development ''Ninety percent of the population in the country is involved in agricultural sector, and there is not enough land, so the families are growing too fast and that means that there is a need to really to diversify economy. But as long as the access to energy is for 3.4 percent of the population its impossible. So we end up with one of the main messages from our strategy, access to energy is a key for economies of these countries and I am glad that we will come with the 50 million now (Euro). But I believe that it should be followed up, because the land can't feed so many people. With a growing population you need also to think about other activities, but without access to energy its impossible to sort it out. So energy is the beginning of the future development here.''
||Mid shot countryside in Burundi ( x shots)