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Burundi eyes leather business to increase cash money


BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi is eyeing the leather business in addition to coffee and tea to bring the country cash money, the Burundian second vice-president said Tuesday after visiting two tannery companies.

“We are identifying and promoting products for export that can bring cash money to the country’s treasury. We assume that leather and animal skins can generate a lot of foreign currencies,” Joseph Butore said after visiting both tannery companies.

He said the leather sector can compete with the country’s coffee and tea sectors that are “traditionally” bringing foreign currencies to the country’s treasury.

“I have been told that leather from Burundi is appreciated at the regional and at the world market,” Butore said.

He added that a kilogram of cattle skin from Burundi is sold at about one U.S. dollar while a kilogram of goat skin or sheep skin is sold between 2.8 dollars and 3 dollars.

Butore also said the technical capacities of those two companies are not reached while domestic animals are slaughtered on a daily basis.

“We have been surprised to hear that animal skins processed by these two companies are not sufficient while there are several animals that are slaughtered on a daily business here in Burundi. This means that some animal skins are sold in a fraudulent way,” said the vice president. 

Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world, where nearly 64.9 percent of the population live below the poverty line. According to the World Bank, Burundi economy is heavily reliant on agriculture which employs 90 percent of its population, though cultivable land is extremely scarce, said the bank.



Burundi senate passes bill on 75-mln-USD
loan agreement to boost farming sector

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- The Burundian senate Wednesday passed a bill on the ratification of an agreement between Burundi and the World Bank’s International Development Association to boost the country’s farming sector.

The bill will provides the financial agreement worth 75 million U.S. dollars to support farmers and farmers’ associations doing their agricultural activities near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

Burundian Finance Minister Domitien Ndihokubwayo had been invited at the senate to answer senators’ questions about the bill.

He told senators that the project will help beneficiaries boost production of maize, rice and milk.

“This project will increase incomes of households in the target area,” Ndihokubwayo said.

The project will be implemented in five provinces of Burundi bordering with DR Congo from the north to the south.

According to the World Bank, Burundi economy is heavily reliant on agriculture which employs 90 percent of its population, though cultivable land is extremely scarce.

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