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Building upon a knowledge exchange that took place from 2017 to 2018, this knowledge exchange – with an extended scope and regional participation – had as objective to (a) deepen learning and the ties forged between Guinea and Cameroon CDD project teams, while extending the knowledge network to Burundi and across linguistic boundaries to Nigeria ; (b) enhance the understanding of participating countries on effective and sustainable participatory development models and processes which can be incorporated in their on-going project operations and policy action; (c) strengthen

In a strategy to strengthen the coffee sector in Burundi and Rwanda, both countries demonstrated interest in implementing shade-grown coffee programs that will promote sustainable economic development and redress land degradation. Putting in place such programs required increased stakeholder ownership and specific technical and organizational skills; Colombia and Ethiopia shared such experiences in knowledge exchanges with Burundi and Rwanda. 


Coffee, Burundi’s primary export crop, is the main source of income for more than 600,000 families, or about 30% of the population. Most of the families are small-scale farmers, and among the poorest people in the country. Unsustainable and unregulated coffee production in Burundi has contributed to land degradation, which in turn depresses productivity and increases vulnerability to climate change. Coffee farmers use steep slopes, often eliminating trees on hillsides to grow coffee under full sun, practices that contribute to land degradation and biodiversity loss.