Nearly all of the families in Burundi practice farming, if only a tiny plot. As well, many of the women and kids do roadside selling of their produce, which changes by the season. Men, also, practice a number of seasonally based small and micro enterprises.
These ‘micro-sales’ supplement household expenses and can be difficult to capture in formal surveys, generally being ‘hidden’ under the category of ‘subsistence production.’
Here are a few sales now taking place in the local village along Lake Tanganyika:
Tangerines [‘mandarins’] are now in season. They are wonderful here, grow very well along Lake Tanganyika, and are a much appreciated source of fruit and of cash. This young woman is selling tangerines that she and her siblings picked in the morning are now in season.
They are wonderful here, grow very well along Lake Tanganyika, and are a much appreciated source of fruit and of cash. This young woman is selling tangerines that she and her siblings picked in the morning
Most of the rural sales are done without scales and so items are placed into little bottes, (bunches) as above – each being about the same. One becomes quite skilled in assessing them, and there is no changing of goods from one botte to another! I bought one botte and it was the equivalent of about 15 cents (5 tangerines).
Vegetable sales in Sudanese markets use the same method:
Meanwhile, back in the Village:
The woman in the household above always has one or two bags of cassava flour for sale outside of her house. Just call her at the gate (“Hodi!!”) and she or her kids will come out to sell to you. The flour she mills from her own cassava.
In the prairie-lands of East Burundi:
To the East of Burundi, where I occasionally train, household-level small and micro enterprises and sales are perhaps more important because of the relative isolation and lack of resources compared to other parts of the country. A great deal of local fabrication and agricultural production is sold on to small merchants, to who sell in larger markets.
The government has relocated several groups of BaTwa pygmies, such as the above, in different areas of eastern Burundi. I visit this group from time to time, in order to purchase the pots that are a traditional handicraft of pygmy groups in the Great Lakes Region. The pots are for the Hotel Club du Lac. Women make the pots; men collect the clay from nearby swamps – which is many kilometers to the West of the settlement.
- Twubahe Group : Burundi (kiva.org)
- Discovering the Rusizi River, Did it flow IN or OUT?! Part VI (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- Twubakerugume Group : Burundi (kiva.org)
- Nshigikira Group : Burundi (kiva.org)
- Dusabimana Group : Burundi (kiva.org)
- Migambi Group : Burundi (kiva.org)
- Discovering the Rusizi River, Did it Flow IN or OUT?! Part III (dianabuja.wordpress.com)