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Food security status in developing countries: a case study of Burera and Musanze districts of Rwanda

FD Nzabuheraheza
AN Nyiramugwera


A research work entitled: “Food security status in developing countries: A case study of Burera and Musanze Districts of Rwanda,” was carried out in the Northern Province of Rwanda. The survey involved a random sample of 50 households in each sector and was undertaken over two weeks, between August and September 2012. The problem was due to declining food security and natural resource depletion in rural areas of Burera and Musanze Districts. The granary system has disappeared in rural areas. Land conflict is complicated by big family size and polygamy. The major objective was to investigate the food security situation in both districts. The obtained results showed that there is land scarcity with an average of 0.5 hectares per household, joblessness of the youth at 20%, hunger at 10% with one meal per day and land conflict at 5% of rural people, amplified by lack of domestic animals and feeds for enough milk, meat, eggs, fish, honey production and organic manure for about 50% of the rural population. It was found that frequent erosion due to prohibitive slopes in hills, increasing population density, dispersed resettlement without vertical buildings, natural disasters and landslides exacerbated by global warming, heavy rains, storms, floods, lightening, deforestation, timbers and charcoal making, and grinding poverty risk lead to food insecurity. In Burera district, 60% of harvested food products were sold, 40% were consumed by household members, and 20% were seeds preserved for the next agricultural season. In Musanze district, 40% were sold, 40% were consumed and 20% were seeds conserved for next cultivation. This revealed that people are at risk of food insecurity just one month after harvesting. In this case, concerned stakeholders in agriculture should take immediate action of radical terraces, irrigation, compost application, land use consolidation and soil analysis, making local fertilizer from volcanic soil and lime, land tenure and rotation, official resettlement in less risk zones, and joblessness reduction. Actually, the government is dealing with the increase of food productivity and income generation in rural areas in order to meet the needs of the population.

Key words: Food security, erosion, fallow, fertilizer, floods, landslide, granary, crops