IRRI, ISABU partnership revolutionising rice farming in Burundi through quality seeds provision to growers

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International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) through its Burundi office in partnership with the Institute of Agronomic Sciences of Burundi (ISABU) is revolutionising rice farming in Burundi by providing quality seeds to farmers thus promoting sustainable agriculture in the East African nation.

Jointly working to achieve one of the Great Lakes Accelerated Innovation Delivery Initiative, Rapid Delivery Hub (AID-I GRL) projects’ goals which is providing high-quality rice seeds to rice farmers and seed producers in in the country, IRRI has been producing early-generation seeds.

The rice seeds developed by ISABU and backed by IRRI have been distributed to scaling partners, namely the Association of Cooperation and Research for Development (ACORD) and the Confederation of Agricultural Producers’ Associations for Development (CAPAD), on December 19, 2023.

These partners have been encouraged to notify registered seed producers about the seed availability and provide information on where to obtain them.

Enhancing farmers’ livelihoods

The collaboration between IRRI and its implementing partners plays a crucial role in enhancing farmers’ livelihoods. All stakeholders involved in the rice value chain have united under the common goal of improving farmers’ lives.

“This partnership will empower stakeholders to collectively address and eliminate weaknesses in the production and utilization of inferior rice seeds,” said Dr. Samson Musonerimana, Research Support Director at ISABU.

Saïdi Bizoza, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), acknowledged IRRI’s contributions, including innovations and technologies offered to technicians from scaling partners.

This is in addition to technical guidance to oversee the dissemination of these advancements to project beneficiaries by the partners.

“IRRI’s implementing partners guarantee the transfer of acquired innovations and technologies to rice seed producers and ensure their long-term viability,” said Mr. Bizoza

Emphasizing the significance of collaboration, IRRI researcher Ménédore Ndagijimana said, “Effective communication is crucial for success in any partnership. It’s commendable that the scaling partners are tasked with spreading technologies to farmers and seed producers.”

Rice varieties produced

The collaboration between IRRI and ISABU has led to the production of 1,340 kilograms of rice seeds encompassing various varieties suitable for irrigated lowland and high elevation ecologies. These varieties include:


  • IR79511-47-2-6-5 (Gwizumwimbu): 80kg
  • IR87546-84-3-3-2 (Kazosi): 100kg
  • IR05N221 (Komboka): 90kg
  • IR91028-115-2-2-2-1 (Mugwiza): 500kg
  • BR11 sub 1 (IR85260-148) (Musaruro): 80kg
  • IR13A256 (Musesekara): 100kg
  • IR 107015-18-3-1-B (Rutete): 80kg
  • FACAGRO 904 (high elevation): 10kg
  • L662-3-9 (Kigingi) (high elevation): 180kg
  • V1380-4 (high elevation): 30kg
  • Scrid006-2-4-2-3 (high elevation): 90kg

Extra funding

In this, IITA was requested to investigate the feasibility of obtaining extra funding to broaden the project’s reach beyond rice, encompassing provinces where the project hasn’t yet commenced.

This presents a significant opportunity to expand the project’s beneficial influence and assist more communities.

The collaboration between IRRI and its implementing partners is crucial in delivering high-quality rice seeds to farmers in Burundi.

Stakeholders and scaling partners are confident that their collaborative endeavors are reinforcing their partnership and ensuring the sustainability of technologies acquired from IRRI in this project.