From VOA learning English, this is Agriculture Report.
A recent study says Burundi is the hungriest place on Earth. Each year the International Food Policy Research Institute releases a Global Hunger Index report.
The 2014 report showed the highest areas of hunger are in Africa, south of the Sahara. The report describes Burundi and Eritrea as areas with high levels of hunger. Poverty, more than 10 years of war and overpopulation have strongly affected Burundi’s economic and food security.
Continuing demand for limited resources has created serious problems for the country. Along many of the hillsides in Burundi’s northern Ngozi province, workers are digging and planting. They hope to stop fertile soils from sliding away.
The United Nations World Food Program is currently paying more than 5,700 local farmers to work other people’s lands. The WFP program Food-for-Assets, comes after years of local farmers trying and failing to beat hunger by working their own land.
Fifty-year-old Matthias Bukuru is one of the farmers. He says that the $1.25 wage he earns is a large amount compared to what he used to earn. He describes his former farming life as “self- enforced slavery.” He made just 12 cents a day, and he and his family went hungry.
The Burundian civil war ended in 2005 after twelve years of fighting. The conflict left much fertile land untended. The World Food Program says recent studies show that feeding and agricultural programs have reduced malnutrition rates nationwide from 58 to 40 percent. The WFP says Burundi’s government wants to wipe out hunger in the country.