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CATALIST Project Organizes the Second Regional Conference on Fertilizers in BuIFDC’s CATALIST Project organized the conference, which was held in Bujumbura on 28-29 July 2009. The conference theme was Opportunities and Challenges of a Regional Fertilizer Market and it was co-sponsored by the Burundian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Burundi Federal Chamber of Trade and Industry and the Burundi Association of Fertilizer Dealers (TABIRA). The conference had several objectives, including linking input dealers and buyers; assessing the regional potential for inputs; introducing new products such as ARM Mavuno, the phosphated fertilizer from Minjingu Mines, Fertilizer Tz LTD, YARA foliar fertilizer, coating of seeds also produced by YARA, etc. IFDC’s facilitative role was demonstrated as it brought decision-makers and politicians to the same table with input producers and importers. In his opening speech, Mr. Ferdinand Nderagakura,

Opening Ceremony at the Source du Nil Hotel in Bujumbura.

Burundi Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, insisted that increased fertilizer use is the only way to ensure an increase in agricultural production and thus guarantee food security for the people of the region.

fertilizer market in East Africa. These opportunities were created through the Abuja Declaration (2006) and the Maputo Declaration, which recommends that 10 percent of national budgets should be used solely in the agricultural sector.

The conference included country case studies on policies, enabling participants to discuss the issue of fertilizer access in the sub-region.

More recent initiatives include the 2009 Syrte Declaration and the decision at the G8 Aquila Summit to fund African agriculture with up to $20 billion to help create food security in Africa.

Participants also learned about existing opportunities for the creation of a regional

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IFDC CATALIST Present at 5th Agricultural Fair in Rwanda - P4

An Overview of IFDC’s CATALIST Project - P2

IFDC CATALIST Participates at Agricultural Fair in Goma - P4

Launching of Small Grants Program - P3

Introduction of UDP Technology in Rice Production - P4

Promotion of the Inventory Credit System - P3


An Overview of CATALIST/SEW Projects The CATALIST Project (Catalyze accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental stability) is a regional project implemented by IFDC for a period of five years. The project is funded by the Netherlands and managed through the Dutch embassy in Rwanda.

Agricultural intensification must be supported by reforestation and agroforestry to be truly efficient. IFDC proposed that a second component be grafted to CATALIST to ensure access to sustainable energy based on fuel wood and charcoal in the Albertine Rift.

CATALIST started in October 2006. It has three strategic objectives:

This component of CATALIST is SEW (Sustainable Energy Production through Woodlots and Agroforestry).

• • •

The promotion of agricultural intensification. The improvement of the incomes of agricultural value chain stakeholders.

The Great Lakes Region is faced with significant energy challenges — 95 percent of households use energy derived from biomass (essentially fuel wood and charcoal).

The promotion of more encouraging socio-economic and political conditions at the national and regional levels.

The overall objective of SEW is to decrease land competition between energy production and agricultural production by increasing agricultural productivity and income.

The project is implemented in Burundi, Rwanda and the North and South Kivu Provinces of Eastern DRC. Market development is also being implemented in Uganda and in Tanzania.

Reforestation will create favorable conditions for biodiversity conservation and a harmonized management of natural resources.

IFDC CATALIST SEW Direction: Hendrik Breman - Chief of Party Chief Editor Jean-Pierre Kisamare Assistant Editor Danielle Mbesherubusa The IFDC CATALIST Newsletter is a quarterly publication of the IFDC-implemented CATALIST Project. Project Headquarters

Burundi Office

IFDC Rwanda 3064, Akanyaru Street, Kiyovu; BP 6758, Kigali, Rwanda Tel: + 250 55104211

IFDC Burundi 3, Rue Bweru, Roero II BP 1995, Bujumbura Tel: +250 22257875 Congo DRC Office IFDC RDC Q.Himbi, Goma Tel: +243 81 31 34 697

Local farmers working together to improve food production.

Specific objectives of SEW are: •

Increased production of fuel wood through micro-woodlots and profitable agroforestry systems.

Effective operational value chains of fuel wood and charcoal.

A favorable environment for the development of a profitable fuel wood sector.

Second Regional Conference On Fertilizers (continued from page 1) During the two-day meeting, Mrs. Laurence Mukamana, National Coordinator of IFDC’s CATALIST Project, explained how the Rwandan Government reached a number of its major agricultural objectives through the Crop Intensification Program (CIP). The CIP benefited from close collaboration between the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resource (MINAGRI) and IFDC and led to a 16.4 percent increase in the use of inputs on Rwanda’s major crops. At the specific request of the Burundi Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, the

following recommendations were developed at the end of the meeting for presentation to Governments: •

To establish a clear strategy identifying the role of the government and of the private sector and an implementation plan for the strategy.

To work to establish a common fertilizer strategy with the EAC, including levels of subsidy and standards.

To support the African Development Bank in its study to identify regional resources and production facilities.


The Inventory Credit System: Help for Smallholder Farmers In an effort to raise the living standards of farmers through improved access to credit, CATALIST committed to the promotion of the Inventory Credit System in the three-nation area. An Inventory Credit System is a short-term credit operation with crops acting as a guarantee for the funds. This system protects farmers against low prices (generally at harvest) by giving them access to credit when they need it most. The need for credit can force farmers to sell their crops to the first buyer at harvest time, often at a low price. Moreover, the farmer then often has to resort to the market in order to buy food and seeds a few months later, at a higher price. The Inventory Credit System allows farmers to have access to credit while using their harvest as a guarantee. This is interesting to banks and other financial institutions since the crops are easily sold in case the borrower fails to


CATALIST committed to the promotion of the Inventory Credit System.

repay his loan, and also because the crops increase in value with time. The system also favors savings since the farmer uses the banking system in his/her transactions. Three stakeholders intervene in the system: the financial institution or

bank (lender), the borrower and the stockist (who keeps the crop until the credit is repaid). Pilot experiments have already started in Rwanda’s East province and in Burundi’s Rural Bujumbura province.

Launch of the Small Grants Program at CATALIST In order to support agricultural entrepreneurship, as well as the emergence and development of profitable agricultural value chains, IFDC’s CATALIST project launched its Small Grants Program in June 2009. The program is aimed at producers’ organizations, cooperatives, agribusiness clusters and individuals. These groups develop innovative ideas in

agricultural production, agricultural funding, input distribution and/or trade as well as in the storing, processing and/or trading of agricultural products. IFDC favors tenders related to the improvement of access to agricultural inputs, increases in agricultural production and productivity, the management of agricultural production and the improvement of funding for agricultural

projects. The process of selection and evaluation began in July 2009 and ended in September 2009. The list of those who were awarded small grants can be found on the IFDC website ( Other requests for tenders will be announced later.


CATALIST participates in the Rwandan Agri-

Introduction of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) Technology in Rice Production

With the theme Added value to agricultural and livestock products for a sustainable economic development, the 5th Rwandan Agri-show was held at the end of June 2009, in the Gasabo district in Kigali.

To help reach its goal of strengthening the intensification of agricultural production, CATALIST is introducing a new technology to interested rice producers.

Farmers, agro-input distributors and other service providers displayed products and services. The exhibition was organized by MINAGRI and sought to highlight investment opportunities in the Rwandan agricultural sector and to introduce various stakeholders to existing or new technologies in the sector. IFDC exhibited experimental tests on the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology and provided financial support to some of its partners who had products to promote. Moreover, about 100 producers were able to visit the exhibition through CATALIST’s sponsorship. Therefore, they acquired new knowledge to share in their region. At the end of the Agri-show, IFDC received a trophy from MINAGRI in recognition of IFDC’s contribution to the success of the event.

The technology, known as UDP, uses urea super granules instead of ordinary urea to fertilize the crop. UDP is placed beneath the root zone among plants, rather than spread by the traditional broadcast method. CATALIST will facilitate the expansion of the use of this new technology through the training of trainers. Trials started during season 2009B in Rwanda and will be extended to Burundi and the DRC in 2010. The technology has numerous advantages, including lowering the cost of fertilizer to farmers while increasing crop yield. Urea efficiency in flooded rice production also significantly reduces nitrogen losses (both greenhouse gas emissions and leaching into groundwater). There are labor savings as well, due to a single application per cycle and less need for weeding in the fields. The technology is most useful in nonmechanized rice production. The super granules are placed manually in the soil. IFDC and others are currently working to

develop an applicator which will further decrease the amount of labor needed for this technology. UDP technology is being used on over one million hectares of land in Bangladesh. In that country, urea use has decreased as much as 50 percent, while farmers have enjoyed rice yield increases of 15 to 25 percent. UDP machines are known as briquetters. The briquetter was developed by IFDC and first used in Bangladesh. UDP briquetters have been built at the village level in that nation for more than 20 years. In the briquetter machines, urea (46% N) is compressed into granules weighing between one and three grams. Several briquetters were imported from Bangladesh and will be used in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda where the project’s agricultural intensification activities take place. Although the UDP granules are more expensive than ordinary urea, this new technology is advantageous when the following conditions are met: · The application is made in thoroughly irrigated heavy soils. · The price of labor is relatively low.

CATALIST at the Goma Agricultural Exhibition IFDC’S CATALIST Project participated in the Goma, DRC agricultural exhibition for peace organized by the Congolese Ministry of Agriculture. The exhibition was held from the 1st to the 5th of July 2009. During the exhibition, a presentation on the theme ‘The land of Kivu is impoverished, let’s save it!’ was presented by the

project. Additionally, CATALIST supported the Ministry of Agriculture and its field partners who displayed their products: COOCENKI for the development of the input market; LOFEPACO and SARCAF for displays of gender-related activities and the role of the Congolese woman in the success of agricultural intensification. CATALIST also supported producers’ organizations that are

advocating for a new agricultural law in the DR Congo. The advocacy campaign seeks the adoption of the draft law because it will bring about useful innovations in agricultural intensification.

CATALIST Newsletter Number 1  
CATALIST Newsletter Number 1  

CATALIST Newsletter Number 1