The collaboration between Italian and Burundian institutions that gave the start to the tomato value chain in Burundi

Date 11.06.2021

The triennial project "Maison Parma, the value of the territory: the tomato value chain and sustainable development" will start by mid-June. Financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), it will be implemented in Bujumbura by the municipality of Parma and AVSI, in partnership with regional authorities, universities, research institutions and enterprises, along with Italian and Burundian civil society organizations.

The project is part of a long-standing cooperation activity, that has linked together the territories of Parma and Burundi since 2004: in collaboration with the Parmaalimenta Association, it evolved through agricultural development activities, project monitoring, and the creation of the Agri-food Center Maison Parma in Bujumbura, that supports the economic growth of Burundian farmers.

The objective of this project is to increase the capacity for socio-economic development and to foster the valorization of the territory of the municipality of Bujumbura. It also aims to share the know-how the territory of Parma has on the agri-food chain production in order to create a Tomato Consortium in Burundi, that can become an example of sustainable development by using the latest technologies and renewable energy sources.

The activities of “Maison Parma, the value of the territory: the tomato value chain and sustainable development” will include training courses (for institutional subjects, technicians of the Burundian Ministry of Agriculture and vulnerable youth) regarding food safety, the processing of products originated by the tomato value chain, the use of new technologies and equipment, marketing techniques, followed by company internships and support for starting up micro entrepreneurial activities.

The contribution of AVSI

As a project partner, AVSI - that has been present in Burundi since 2001 - will promote a territorial approach, paying special attention to social inclusion and gender equality. It will work to amplify the impact of the project, to increase the number of beneficiaries and to enhance the project sustainability by counting on highly qualified staff and wide network of civil society organisations and local authorities.

Thanks to the experience gained by working on the field during all these years, AVSI will foster dialogue between the private sector and the production units involved in consolidating the capacities of the beneficiaries.

Furthermore, two Burundian associations will be involved, being historical partners of AVSI: CASOBU, that will provide the training in product marketing, and APE Burundi, that will identify the private-sector players to get involved, select and train the beneficiaries for the business course.

The press conference

The press conference that announced the project was attended by the mayor of Parma Federico Pizzarotti, the councilor for International Cooperation Nicoletta Paci, the Italian ambassador in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi Massimiliano Mazzanti, the ambassador of the Republic of Burundi Espérance Ndayizeye, along with the representative of the project partners, as Andrea Sovani, AVSI project manager in Burundi.

The partnership network of the project “Maison Parma, the value of the territory: the tomato value chain and sustainable development”

In addition to the municipality of Parma, AVSI and AICS (financial sponsor), the following partners will take part in the project:

Italian Partners > Parmaalimenta, IMEM-CNR (Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism of the National Research Council), the University of Parma (Department of Food and Drug), the County Association of Parma (CNA), and the experimental agricultural entreprise Stuard.

Local Partners > the municipality of Bujumbura and the Rural County of Bujumbura, APE Burundi (Association for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship in Burundi) and CASOBU (Category Association for Solidarity Organizations in Burundi).