About Burundi

Nestled in the heart of East Africa, Burundi is a landlocked country known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural tapestry. The landlocked country, located in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The country is characterized by rolling hills, lush greenery, and picturesque lakes, making it a haven for nature lovers. Lake Tanganyika, one of the longest freshwater lakes in the world, graces its western border, while the scenic highlands contribute to the country’s nickname, “Land of a Thousand Hills.”

Despite its small size, Burundi boasts a diverse cultural heritage. The population, composed of various ethnic groups, contributes to a vibrant blend of traditions, music, and dance. Visitors are welcomed with warmth and hospitality, creating an enriching experience for those exploring the country’s cultural tapestry.

Burundi ranks among the poorest nations of the world. More than 65 percent of the population lives in poverty and over 50 percent of children aged under 5 are classified as chronically malnourished. The Burundi government understands the importance of nutrition in fostering a healthy population. To promote the production and consumption of fortified whole grains as a key element of a healthy and nutritious diet targeted at school going children, The Fortified Whole Grain Alliance in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Food Program (WFP) launched the production of Fortified Whole Grain maize flour in Burundi in April 2023. Fortified Whole Grains not only provide essential nutrients but also play a crucial role in addressing nutritional challenges faced by the population.

Launch Of Fortified Whole Grain Production

The Fortified Whole Grain Alliance, the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Food Program office in Burundi advanced considerable technical support to three medium scale-milling companies to produce high quality Fortified Whole Grains (FWGs). These milling companies are UNIKORN, Burundi Fortified Food (BFF) and MINOLAC.

The capacity strengthening activities and support extended to these millers included:

  • Prototype tests for the production of FWG maize flour.
  • Sampling of prototypes produced by the three millers for quality test.
  • Deployment of raw materials, provision of bags, equipment loan and procurement of packaging materials required for the milling operations.
  • Fulfilment of Corrective action and Prevention Action to address Food Safety and Quality issues and five certificates for registration/ recognition of the FWG.
  • Meeting and joint mission by WFP and Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN) and National Centre of Food Technology (CNTA) to ensure full collaboration in the certification process.
  • Sensitization on food quality standards by BBN and training on GPP and GPH by CNTA.

As a result of this support, the three milling companies were able to produce their first FWG prototype in December 2022.

The launch ceremony of the FWG flour production targeted at school feeding was done on 17th April 2023. The launch was graced by the 1st lady of Burundi who is the champion of nutrition & school feeding in Burundi. There were various government ministries in attendance such as the Minister of trade, the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Vice President and the Rockefeller foundation foods team, the WFP Regional Bureau team as well as representatives of various bilateral organizations.

A school visit where FWG flour was used for preparation of school meals.

Home Grown School Feeding

The World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the government of Burundi provides daily nutritious meals and snacks to over 500,000 school children in 703 schools through its home-grown school feeding programme (HGSF).

The government of Burundi has identified the HGSF programme as the largest and most important safety net for vulnerable people in the country and has placed nutrition at the top of its agenda.

As well as improving the health and nutrition of children, WFP’s school feeding programme also acts as an incentive for families to enrol and keep their children in school. It means parents do not have to budget for lunches which boosts incomes and helps to alleviate poverty.

The Government of Burundi has made significant efforts to strengthen the national school feeding program and improve the policy environment. Home -grown school feeding programs have been identified as an essential social safety net program offering institutional market access to local smallholder farmers. The objective is to achieve universal coverage of school feeding in Burundi by 2032.

Burundi is a member of the School Meals Coalition since August 2021 and is committed to join East Africa Sub-Regional Network School Meals Coalition launched in May 2023.

The Program

In collaboration with the government and donors, WFP distributes hot meals on school days to kindergarten and primary school children in food-insecure areas. The program, aiming to increase enrollment and attendance avoiding dropouts, is implemented in the provinces of Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bujumbura, Gitega, Ngozi, Kirundo, Muyinga and Makamba.

To further operationalize its commitment to school meals, the government established a National Directorate of School Canteens in 2017 to design, implement and oversee the program in collaboration with other sectoral ministries, local authorities, UN agencies and the private sector.

In 2022, WFP supported the implementation of national school feeding program in providing nutritious meals to 660,000 children across 850 schools, representing 24% of the 2.8 million school-aged children in Burundi.

The Fortified Whole Grain Millers


Burundi Fortified Foods – BFF

  • A Burundian company engaged in Agro-food processing:  Working mainly on the corn value chain with 10 years’ experience in the cereals business. It was established in 2020 after acquiring the company “CEREALIS”.
  • Produces fortified foods based on corn flour, including fortified maize flour and fortified porridge flour (CSB+)
  • UNIKORN is a female led company with majority women in the management team. 32 workers are currently employed.
  • The company has two milling units with a combined capacity of 3 tons per hour: Besides online fortification capability, there are three batch mixers to complement further flour enrichment /nutrients inclusion as necessary.
  • UNIKORN works towards fair distribution on the market and to reach schools, prisons, hospitals and nutritional care centers. It aims to fight malnutrition in Burundi and in the region through provision of quality and nutritious foods.
  • In partnership with WFP, the company is currently focused on supplying the school feeding program with fortified whole grain maize flour through a project sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation. All assets are focused production of fortified whole grain products with plans underway to expand the capacity
  • Founded in 2017, Burundi Fortified Foods (BFF) is a privately owned Burundian company that seeks to help people maximize their potential through improved nutrition with affordable, high quality, locally produced foods.
  • Located in Bujumbura with a commitment to nourishing the community through production of a wide range of fortified products, both instant and non-instant flours tailored towards tackling malnutrition and other diet related deficiencies. Main products include the early life nutrition “Kibondo”flour, CSB+, Fortified whole maize flour etc.
  • The company management team is committed to ensure quality and consistency in its products offering
  • BFF has two independent production lines: – a fully automated extrusion line for instant flours, CSB and other breakfast cereals and a 1.5 tons per hour flour production line recently engineered to prioritize production of Fortified whole maize flour.
  • The company has a wide portfolio range and a wider reach of partnerships and engagement in community service/projects that provides a strong direction on its strategic growth.
  • BFF is one of the suppliers of Fortified whole maize meal to WFP for school feeding program.

Minolacs S.A.

  • MINOLACS is a private milling company established in 1980, located in Muramvya Province. The company employs Buhler milling technology to produce both wheat and maize products and is equipped with elaborate grain cleaning and storage facilities.
  • Products offer includes all types of wheat flours, fortified refined maize flour and fortified whole maize and associated milling by-products.
  • Boosting of a good production facility and an experienced team of technical staff as well as competent management, the company consistently delivers safe and quality products to the market: 60 skilled permanent staff and over 100 daily wage workers.
  • With technical assistance from the Fortified Whole Grain Alliance, Minolacs was able to reconfigure its 30 tons per day maize mill to successfully produce prototypes of fortified whole grain maize flour to supply to WFP for the school feeding program. Currently, the management is exploring on acquiring a maize grain dryer to enable full scale production of Fortified whole grain maize flour in support of the national school feeding program.