With soy production expected to decline by a third this year, many experts are predicting a massive surge in the price of the crop.
Soy farmers have been able to withstand this downturn by investing in machinery, new technologies, and increased training, but with global demand expected to remain strong for some time, this investment could prove costly.
In fact, the International Soybean Research Institute has estimated that soy production will decline by up to 12.5% this year in Burundi, and the World Food Programme predicts soy production could decline by 15% this summer.
The Burundian Soybean Producers Association, however, has argued that soy will not be the main driver of the current boom.
“Soy is still the main crop in Burunda,” said Dr. Ovidi Tuzi, the president of the association.
“It is not the main reason for the boom in Burunga.”
“There are other crops that have contributed to the growth of soy production, such as cassava and pea, but they have been neglected by the government, so we have not really addressed this problem,” Tuzo added.
Burundi’s soy industry is booming.
According to Tuzie, the country is home to some of the world’s largest soy fields, and he expects more than 1.5 million hectares of soy will be planted this year.
Tuzie estimates that soy has doubled in size in just the past five years, from just one hectare in 1999 to nearly 30 hectares today.
He attributes the increase in soy production to an increasing awareness among farmers and businesses, the development of new technologies like the use of genetically modified seeds, and a combination of government subsidies and increased exports.
“Soy exports are rising because of Burundia’s agricultural and urban development,” Tuthi said.
“So far, we have seen that this increase is more than offset by the decline in Burunias income.”
Soya farming is also in a boom period for the people of Burungo, whose economy is struggling with the economic collapse of Buruniya.
The Burundians are struggling to find work after losing a majority of their workforce in the aftermath of the country’s devastating civil war in 2014.
A new economy has emerged in Burundy, which is booming due to an influx of migrant workers.
The population has been growing steadily, and Tuthie predicts that the country will continue to expand as Burundias agricultural base expands.
For now, Tuthies hope that Burundis soy industry can help fuel the countrys future growth.
“We are looking for ways to provide additional jobs to the Burundese people,” he said.
While soy is the main export crop in the country, Tuzies soy industry plans to diversify into other crops as well.
“As soy production continues to decline, we will diversify our crop offering to meet the growing demand for other crops, such a maize,” Tungi said, adding that Burunia’s soy crop has already been diversified to include rice and corn, as well as other crops like millet and sorghum.
Despite the current drought in Buruntia, Tutsis soy farmers are optimistic that the crop will continue its boom in the future.
“I am optimistic that Burungis soy will continue growing,” Tukis farmer, Mariko, told VICE News.
“I have seen a decline in soy prices, so I am hoping that Burunda will be able to meet this new demand in the coming months.
I also believe that soy is not only good for the environment, but also for Burundies economy.”
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