Skip to main content

Average Season A and Season B harvests increase food access through September 2024

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Burundi
  • February - September 2024
Average Season A and Season B harvests increase food access through September 2024

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year
  • Areas of Concern Northern Lowlands livelihood zone (Figure 7)
  • Key Messages
    • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in the Northern Lowlands, Eastern Lowlands, and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones, driven by average 2024 Season A crop production and improved agricultural labor opportunities that will likely improve access to food and income through May 2024. This situation is likely to continue from June to September 2024, supported by near-average Season B crop production. However, increased food prices and below-average cross-border income-earning opportunities are likely to limit very poor households from accessing sufficient food and income sources.
    • As of January, food prices have stabilized compared to last year due to the average 2024 Season A green harvest, though prices remain 30 to 45 percent above the five-year average. High food prices are attributed to the increased cost of imported food due to elevated national inflation, increased expenses for agricultural inputs, and elevated fuel and transportation costs. Producer prices of maize have been fixed by the government at a minimum of 1,700 BIF/kg, which is around 150 percent above the price in 2021. While the higher maize prices have the positive impact of encouraging middle and better-off households to invest in agriculture and crop production, they are likely to limit access for poor and very poor households that rely on market purchases for food during the lean period of April and May 2024.
    • The 2024 Season B cultivation is expected to start on time in February, as above-average rainfall and increased availability of fertilizers, subsidized at 60 percent by the government, are expected to encourage farmers to invest in the season. However, high bean prices are expected to limit access to bean seeds, and the expected above-average rainfall is likely to negatively affect bean crops, which are vulnerable to excessive rainfall.
    • Although inflation has decreased to 10 percent below last month’s level, the trade deficit, external debt, and loans to the private sector increased more than 30 percent above last year’s level, while foreign exchange reserves are 5 percent below last year and 10 percent below the four-year average and expected to cover less than one month’s import needs. Those macroeconomic indicators at critical levels are likely to lead to instability of the Burundi Franc (BIF), with an increased official exchange rate 70 percent lower than the parallel market and 20 percent above the average of the fourth quarter of 2023, driving low import capacity and increasing the price of imported items, including fuel and food. 
    • Due to funding shortfalls, approximately 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers are receiving about 75 percent of their usual food ration. This shortage in food assistance is likely to contribute to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes among these households. Funding shortfalls are likely to persist through September 2024, forcing WFP to further reduce the size of rations. Around 10,500 people who returned after the start of the 2024 Season A in August and exhausted their food assistance return package are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes that are likely to persist until the Season B harvest period in June 2024. 

    National Overview

    Current Situation

    Agricultural production: In February, households are typically engaged in harvesting Season A crops, which represent 35 percent of annual crop production, with the bean and maize harvest taking place primarily in low-altitude areas and the maize harvest taking place in high-altitude zones. Tubers (sweet potato and cassava) are produced across the whole country, while rice is produced only in irrigated areas in low- and middle-altitude zones. In addition, land preparation and seeding are in progress for the June to August Season B harvest, which represents roughly 50 percent of annual production and consists largely of bean production. 

    Rainfall for the 2024 Season A (September to December) started on time and has been above average at the national level (Figure 1). Northern areas have received near-average rainfall, while rainfall has been above average in the south. Excessive rainfall caused floods along Tanganyika Lac and important rivers, destroying infrastructure and causing localized damage of 2024 Season A crops. 

    Due to the timely start of rainfall, the 2024 Season A harvest occurred on time, freeing land for 2024 Season B cultivation in February. In addition to the favorable 2024 Season A rainfall, the increased availability of fertilizers and improved maize seeds, subsidized at 60 percent by the government, is supporting 2024 Season B production. Around 3,000 agriculture cooperatives (SANGWE), consisting of around 75,000 farmers, are directly supervised by the technical structures of the government. Given the permanent livestock zero-grazing policy, owners of large agricultural areas (more than two hectares) in the highland livelihood zones have intensified agricultural activities, providing labor opportunities for poor and very poor households.

    However, bean production, representing 15 percent of the total Season A production, is expected to be below average in the Eastern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones due to the crop’s high vulnerability to excessive rainfall. Additionally, in those two zones severe cassava mosaic and brown streak disease is negatively affecting cassava, one of the most cultivated crops, leading to a below-average 2024 Season A harvest. 

    In the rest of the country, production is expected to be moderate for crops mostly tolerant to abundant rainfall, such as tubers, cereals, and bananas, helping to narrow the gap from reduced production of beans. Crop production is expected to be partially reduced in the Imbo Plains livelihood zone and along important rivers spread throughout the national territory due to localized flooding. According to the national seed management institute (ISABU), a shortage of potato planting material for the current season is reducing tuber production in the High Altitude livelihood zone, but above-average maize production is narrowing the gap from reduced production of potatoes. 

    The anticipated above-average rainfall is set to create conducive weather conditions for cash crop production, including coffee, tea, and palm oil. This is expected to yield average to above-average harvests, providing a steady income for approximately 45 percent of crop owners, predominantly from better-off and middle-income households. Furthermore, the improved crop production is expected to generate employment opportunities for poor and very poor households, enabling them to earn income through various labor activities associated with crop cultivation and harvesting. 

    Figure 1

    National monthly anomaly in rainfall performance
    National monthly anomaly in rainfall performance

    Source: Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Income sources: According to the WFP Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS) survey conducted in February 2023, households in Burundi derive a significant portion of their income from various sources. Approximately half of their total income comes from staple crop production and agriculture, with an additional 20 percent coming from labor sales, 20 percent from livestock-related activities, 5 percent from petty trade, and 5 percent from cash crop-related activities (Figure 2). Crop production, livestock, petty trade, and cash crops provide income for middle and better-off households, while poor and very poor households derive most of their income from labor related to agriculture, livestock, and cash crop activities.

    Figure 2

    Share of total household income by source among rural households, based on a February 2023 national survey (n = 2,705 households)
    Share of total household income by source among rural households, based on a February 2023 national survey (n = 2,705 households)

    Source: Source: WFP/CFSVA

    In February, intensive labor opportunities related to 2024 Season A harvests and land preparation for 2024 Season B are providing improved income to poor households, who are benefiting from a notable increase of 30 to 50 percent in labor wages, compared to the previous year. Middle and better-off households increased their earning by selling a substantial portion of their production, capitalizing on the rising food prices. The government’s fixed maize price of 1,700 BIF/kg, or 150 percent above the 2021 price, contributes to the increase in income of maize producers. However, the increased food price for producers will reduce the purchasing power of poor and very poor households, who depend on market purchases.

    Improved access to cross-border opportunities in Tanzania after COVID-19, including farming activities, petty trade, and labor-based employment, is progressively boosting the income of poor and very poor households from the Eastern Lowlands, Eastern Dry Plateaus, and Buragane. The daily wages in Tanzania are 60 percent higher than in Burundi, increasing households’ income and alleviating competition for locally available jobs in Burundi. These opportunities are improving access to income and food for poor and very poor households. 

    However, due to increased political tensions between Burundi and Rwanda, border activities are restricted, reducing the movement of people and goods and limiting access to cross-border opportunities, mostly in the north of the country. While labor wages on the national level have increased 50 percent above last year’s rate and 70 percent above the five-year average, labor wages in the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone are 40 percent below the national average, raising concerns. This issue is particularly significant in the context of increasing food prices, which can diminish the terms of trade for poor and very poor households in the area who depend on markets for food purchases, making them more susceptible to the effects of rising food prices. 

    Economic conditions: The National Institute of Statistics in Burundi (INSBU) indicated an inflation rate of 20 percent, 7 percent below October 2023 but 10 percent above the four-year average. The stability and seasonal decrease of food prices, compared to last year, is contributing to the decrease in inflation, as the food inflation rate has slowed but remains 23 percent higher compared last year. However, most macroeconomic indicators remain at critical levels, including the trade deficit, external debt, and loans to the private sector, which are 50, 40, and 30 percent above last year’s levels, respectively. The foreign exchange reserves are 5 percent below last year and 10 percent below the four-year average. To address BIF instability and to narrow the gap between the official and parallel markets, the Burundi Central Bank (BRB) lifted the ban on foreign exchange bureaus in October 2022 and increased the official exchange rate of the BIF by 35 percent, but the exchange rate rose by nearly 40 percent between May 2023 and February 2024. However, the shortage of foreign reserves persists, and the official exchange rate remains approximately 70 percent lower than the parallel market and around 20 percent above the average of the fourth quarter of 2023. Continued macroeconomic challenges are driving low import capacity and increasing the costs of imported items. In early October 2023, fuel prices increased to 4,350 BIF per liter, which is about 5.8 USD per gallon, 40 percent above the price in July and 70 percent above last year’s price. Increased fuel prices and high food transportation costs are driving the increased food prices. 

    Food prices: Despite ongoing economic difficulties, food prices were relatively stable from the end 2023, supported by the above-average 2023 Season C harvest. The average 2024 Season A green harvest further stabilized food prices in January, contributing to a 5 percent and 15 percent decrease compared to last year for maize and beans, respectively (Figure 3), although rice, cassava and sweet potatoes remain 10 percent higher. However, food prices remain 30 to 45 percent above the five-year average. These price increases are attributed to the increased cost of imported food due to national inflation, increased expenses for agricultural inputs, and elevated fuel and transportation costs. 

    Furthermore, escalating insecurity in eastern DRC has limited local crop production, resulting in heightened demand for exports to the DRC, especially for rice and maize. Households and traders are still involved in unofficial exports of beans to Tanzania and Rwanda, driven by the favorable exchange rates for the local currency, which are 60 percent higher in Tanzania and nearly three times higher in Rwanda, creating economic incentives for such cross-border trade. The labor wage increase of about 50 percent compared to last year is mitigating the increased food prices and improving purchasing power and enhancing access to food from markets.

    Figure 3

    Food commodity price dynamics
    Food commodity price dynamics

    Source: Source: WFP/SIP

    Humanitarian food assistance: According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Burundi hosts around 85,000 refugees living in camps and urban areas. Due to funding shortfalls, some 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers hosted in camps are receiving around 75 percent of their usual food ration and are expected to face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity. Funding shortfalls are likely to persist through September 2024, forcing WFP to reduce the size of rations. Around 10,500 people who returned after the start of the 2024 Season A in August and exhausted their food assistance return package are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes until the 2024 Season B harvest period in June 2024. An assessment conducted by UNHCR around end of 2023 indicated that close to 40 percent of repatriated households used their allowance in cash for the acquisition of land (fields), but only 13 percent have been able to practice agriculture during 2024 Season A as they are facing a shortage of seeds and agricultural tools. Around 75 percent of returnees have access to their land but generally require around two years to recover their typical livelihood, while humanitarian assistance received on their arrival covers only three months.

    Humanitarian food aid is also provided to 47,000 people affected by climatic and socioeconomic shocks who were assisted from October to December in Ngozi, Kirundo, Muyinga, Cibitoke, and Bujumbura, using a combination of in-kind and cash transfers, covering the full caloric needs of the assisted people. 

    Conflict and insecurity: Localized violence has been reported from January through December 2023 in Bujumbura, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces, including armed attacks and forced disappearances. In early December 2023, Burundian forces officially withdrew from eastern DRC, where they had been deployed since November 2022 as part of the East African Community’s (EAC) regional force in the DRC. However, Burundian troops were deployed to eastern DRC beginning in September 2023 and are fighting alongside Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) troops against the M23 rebel group. New tensions between Burundi and DRC have been sparked by armed attacks in which around twenty people were killed in December 2023 in Gatumba locality, near the border with DRC. Increasing political tensions resurfaced at the end of 2023 and in the beginning of 2024 between Burundi and Rwanda. The Burundi Government decided to close land borders with Rwanda, restricting the movement of people and goods, and also expelled some Rwandans.

    Current Food Security Outcomes

    Average 2024 Season A crop production and improved agricultural labor opportunities are likely to improve food access in the Northern Lowlands, supporting a transition from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes from February to May 2024. Due to improved food access and stabilized food prices, Eastern Lowlands and the Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones are likely to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, although poor households will likely continue facing increased food prices and below-average income-earning opportunities. Refugees, who have been receiving assistance covering around 75 percent of their food needs since the end of 2023, are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes as well. However, households in the western part of the country are expected to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes due to improved food access from the average 2024 Season A, seasonally stabilized food prices, increased labor wages, and normal access to employment opportunities.

    Figure 4

    Monthly admissions of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 2020–2022
    Monthly admissions of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 2020–2022

    Source: Source: Ministry of Health

    Based on a September 2023 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) using SMART survey methodology, the national prevalence of acute malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months is 6.0 percent (5.4– 6.6 percent). This prevalence indicates an Alert level (GAM 5–9.9 percent), according to IPC classification, during the beginning of the lean period. Enhanced food access after the average Season A harvest is likely to sustain an Alert level of acute malnutrition in the Eastern and Northern Lowlands and the Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones due to food deficit nature of the area, following seasonally improved access to food and nutrition (Figure 4). Alert levels of malnutrition are likely in localized areas of the Imbo Plains livelihood zone where crops are expected to be destroyed by floods and in the north and east, where food access is limited by below-average income from cross-border opportunities.


    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year
    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Assumptions

    Between February and September 2024, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following national-level assumptions:

    • El Niño conditions forecasted from early 2024 are expected to lead to above-average rainfall from February to April, but rainfall is likely to progressively decrease through May 2024, becoming average from June to September 2024. As soil is saturated from the recent rainy season, more landslides and flooding are expected during the upcoming rainy season in localized areas. 

    • Due to the high vulnerability to excessive rainfall, bean production (representing 30 percent of the total of Season B production) is expected to be below average. Production of crops mostly tolerant of abundant rainfall, such as tubers, cereals, and bananas, is expected to be moderate, compensating for the reduced bean harvest and leading to near-average 2024 Season B crop production. 

    • 2024 Season C cultivation is expected to be average, given the normal dry conditions forecasted for June to August and government support in the form of subsidized seeds and fertilizer to promote agriculture production.

    • From February to September, labor opportunities are expected to increase by 15 percent compared to average due to improved cash crop and livestock activities supported by the expected above-average rainfall, likely encouraging poor and very poor households to be more engaged in agricultural labor, the main income source for around 40 percent of the total population. 

    • Labor wages at the national level increased by 50 and 70 percent compared to last year and the five-year average, respectively, and are expected to remain at that level through September 2024 and likely increase purchasing power for households relying on agricultural labor opportunities, representing around 40 percent of the total population.

    • The opening of the Tanzanian border increases access to cross-border opportunities, which is expected to boost income through September for poor households engaged in cross-border employment in Tanzania, where the wage rate is 60 percent above Burundi's rate. However, income earned by households in the north is likely to decrease to below-average levels through September 2024 due to the closing of the Burundi-Rwanda border on January 11, 2024, while increasing insecurity in DRC will keep cross-border opportunities below-average in western areas. 

    • The inflation rate is likely to be stable but high at around 20 percent during the harvest and post-harvest period of February and March, supported by foreign exchange liberalization implemented in December 2023, with restrictions lifted after seven years on foreign currency accounts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private entities in commercial banks. This policy is expected to increase foreign exchange transactions, then slightly increase the volume of foreign curreny and international transactions.

    • The shortage of foreign reserves is expected to persist, and the official exchange rate is expected to remain approximately 70 percent lower than the parallel market, with the prices of imported goods, including fuel, remaining at a high level. Fuel shortages are expected to persist through the analysis period, and the main source of fuel for households is expected to be the unofficial market, where the cost is two to three times above the normal price, increasing transportation costs and food prices. 

    • Staple food prices are expected to be lower than last year’s prices but above the five-year average through September 2024. In Gitega market, located in the central part of the country and reflecting the national trend, bean prices are expected to be around 50 percent above the five-years average (Figure 5), while maize prices are expected to be 30 to 80 percent above average (Figure 6) though September 2024. The above-average prices are likely due to decreased food imports, expected unofficial food exports linked with BFI devaluation, and increased fuel and transportation costs. However, the average 2024 Season A harvest and expected near-average 2024 Season B production are likely to seasonally lower the prices from 5 to 40 percent compared to last year.

    Figure 5

    Gitega, bean integrated price projections
    Gitega, beans integrated price projections

    Source: Source: SIP/WFP

    Figure 6

    Gitega, maize integrated price projections
    Gitega, maize integrated price projections

    Source: Source: SIP/WFP

    • Internal political hostilities are likely to continue and escalate nationwide from June to September 2024, in the lead-up to the May 2025 legislative and administrative elections. Localized armed group attacks are expected near the DRC and Rwanda borders, especially in Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces. 

    • Between February and September 2024, UNHCR is likely to facilitate the return of 24,000 persons out of the 245,705 Burundian refugees in neighboring countries, an average of 3,000 returnees per month. Around 45 percent are currently being hosted in Tanzanian refugee camps, and most of the returnees are expected to be hosted in the eastern, north, and south of Burundi.

    • Due to the intensification of intercommunal conflicts in eastern DRC and the reopening of the Burundi and DRC borders, the number of asylum seekers in Burundi is expected to increase from 87,520 people as of December 2023 to around 96,000 though the scenario period, with about 1,000 new arrivals monthly. 

    • Around 25,000 newly displaced are expected during the high-intensity rainfall of April, similarly to last year’s situation under comparable climatic conditions. Around 20 percent of new internally displaced people (IDPs) are likely to return to their original places, and around 100,000 IDPs are expected through June, due to the flood that is likely to be caused by the above-average rainfall.

    • The average 2024 Season A is likely to sustain an alert level of acute malnutrition through May 2024, and the expected near-average Season B rainfall is likely to sustain stable food access, contributing to further improvement to an acceptable nutrition level. Due to localized loss of food and income sources, Alert (GAM 5–9.9 percent) rangeis likely to be sustained in Imbo Plains livelihood zone, in the north and east.  

    Most Likely Acute Food Security Outcomes

    Driven by the average 2024 Season A crop production and improved agricultural labor opportunities, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated between February and May 2024 in the Northern and Eastern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones, supporting enhanced access to food and income sources. The near-average 2024 Season B harvest is expected to sustain food access through September, maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. However, increased food prices, below-average income from cross-border opportunities, and localized losses of beans and cassava remain drivers to food insecurity for poor and very poor households in those areas. Refugees in camps are expected to receive around 75 percent of their food needs. Due to funding gaps since end of 2023, refugee households are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, as are IDPs displaced by floods and landslides through April 2024. 

    However, households in the western part of the country are expected to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food security outcomes through September 2024 due to improved food access from the average 2024 Season A harvest, stabilized food prices, increased labor wages, and normal access to labor opportunities.

    Events that Might Change the Outlook

    Table 1. Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario

    Area

    Event

    Impact on food security outcomes

    Eastern and Northern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones Localized below-average rainfall March to June 2024Localized below-average rainfall would lead to below-average 2024 Season B crop production in the most arid areas of the Eastern and Northern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus. Below-average crop production would lead to increased food prices beginning in August and increase the number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
    NationalDeclaration of aflatoxin toxic An early 2023 USAID/Program for the East Africa Region (APPEAR) study found acceptable levels of aflatoxins in crops, ranging from 1.3 to 4 μg/kg, which is below the East Africa threshold of 10 μg/kg. However, poor post-harvest conditions and inadequate storage facilities are anticipated to increase the proliferation of the fungus, exacerbated by the likelihood of higher moisture levels during the maize harvest period of February. Toxic levels of aflatoxin reported in the region would likely lead to a sanitary ban on maize imports, like what happened in March 2021. This would likely lead to below-average maize imports and maize availability, leading to potential fluctuations in the market from June to September, when stocks of own-produced maize are exhausted. 
    NationalFurther devaluation of the BIFFurther devaluation of the BIF would likely decrease food imports, reduce food availability, and increase food prices. Increased food prices would significantly decrease access to food for poor and very poor households, especially during the lean periods of October to December and April to May, increasing the number of households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    Rumonge, Bujumbura, Bubanza and Cibitoke provincesExpansion of the armed conflict from North Kivu to South Kivu in eastern DRCThe resumption of fighting between M23 and the Congolese army and its allies, as well as expansion of fighting toward the south, could bring conflict to the province of South Kivu, bordering with Burundi. In this case, security would be disrupted in the provinces of Rumonge, Bujumbura, Bubanza, and Cibitoke, with localized armed attacks further limiting access to cross-border labor opportunities for poor and very poor households. The movement of people and food would also likely be disrupted, limiting access to local labor opportunities in the Imbo Plains livelihood zone.

    Areas of Concern Northern Lowlands livelihood zone (Figure 7)

    Current Situation

    The Northern Lowlands Livelihood zone borders Rwanda, encompassing Kirundo province (including Bugabira, Busoni, parts of Kirundo, and Ntega communes) and Giteranyi commune in Muyinga province. Around 1.14 million people live in the livelihood zone, as per the population projection from the National Statistics Institute (INSBU).

    This area has been affected by rainfall deficits in the past four consecutive seasons, and poor and very poor households have been engaged in crisis and emergency livelihood strategies for survival and access to food and income, eroding their livelihood assets. High fuel and transportation costs, increased food prices, and below-average income access due to reduced cross-border opportunities due to political issues between Burundi and Rwanda have been additional challenges to accessing sufficient food.

    Figure 7

    Area of concern reference map: Northern Lowlands livelihood zone
    Area of concern reference map: Northern Lowlands livelihood zone

    Source: Source: FEWS NET

    However, supported by average rainfall between September 2023 and January 2024, the average 2024 Season A harvest is expected to improve food access from February to May 2024 for most households in the area. Despite increased food prices, food access is also improved by increased agricultural labor opportunities due to the above-average rainfall and increased labor wages, estimated at 50 and 70 percent above last year’s rate and the five-year average, respectively. In the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone, the labor wage remains 40 percent below the national average and is expected to be insufficient to match the increase in food prices. While cross-border opportunities in Rwanda have been a consistent income source for poor and very poor households in the past, these opportunities remain blocked by the tense situation on the border due to political issues with Rwanda, limiting households to domestic sources of employment that provide lower incomes compared to typical incomes from cross-border activities. 

    Poor households are expected to rapidly exhaust their food stocks due to above-average sales to repay credits used to buy food during the lean period of October to December 2023, agricultural inputs (seeds and fertilizers) for 2024 Season A cultivation, and essential non-food items, including those related to sanitation and transportation, which has been costly since the end of 2023. 

    WFP and other organizations provide returnees with a three-month humanitarian assistance package upon arrival, consisting of cash transfers and in-kind food distributions of cereals, pulses, oil, and salt, improving food availability in the area in general and within households in particular. The area hosts about a third of the returnees, with around 2,400 returnees arriving between June and December 2023. Due to lack of funding, returnees are receiving assistance covering only nearly 70 percent of their monthly needs. This reduced humanitarian assistance is expected to continue through September 2024. However, the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone benefits from the MERANKABANDI social safety net program, involving around 5,000 households receiving 36,000 BIF per month.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national-level assumptions, the following assumptions apply to this area of concern:

    • Restrictions on cross-border labor opportunities in Rwanda are expected to persist throughout the analysis period. This situation will have a negative impact on the income of poor and very poor households, who rely on agricultural labor opportunities. Labor wages in the area have remained at a low level compared to the rest of the country, which further reduces the purchasing power of these households, especially given increased food prices. 

    • Social safety nets are likely to continue to operate at below-normal levels due to funding gaps. Despite the resumption of the MERANKABANDI program, which supports 5,000 households, all safety nets are expected to be at below-average levels. The nutrition programs for children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women are likely to continue at the same level.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Average 2024 Season A crop production and improved agricultural labor opportunities are expected to stabilize food and income access in the Northern Lowlands, supporting a transition from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through the 2024 Season A post-harvest period from February to May 2024. Besides, A near-average 2024 Season B harvest in June is expected to further improve food access in the area, likely sustaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes between June and September 2024. However, above-average food prices and below-average cross-border income-earning opportunities are expected to limit access to food for poor and very poor households. 

    The improved food access is expected to reduce the number of children admitted to nutrition treatment centers from February to March, but this number is expected to slightly increase during the lean period from April to May. Average 2024 Season B crop production is expected to increase food access and improve nutrition outcomes in June, but stocks are expected to decline in August and September at the beginning of the lean season. Malnutrition rates are expected to fluctuate throughout the scenario period, linked to variation in food access, but will generally remain in the Alert (GAM 5–9.9 percent) range.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Burundi Food Security Outlook February - September 2024: Average Season A and Season B harvests increase food access through September 2024, 2024.

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top