Cash Crops – Economy of Burundi

Cash Crops in Burundi: Agricultural Backbone of the Economy

Cash crops play a pivotal role in Burundi’s economy, serving as a significant source of revenue and employment for the country. Among the primary cash crops cultivated in Burundi, coffee stands out as a key agricultural export. Burundi is renowned for producing high-quality Arabica coffee, and coffee cultivation is a crucial component of the agricultural sector. Additionally, tea is another important cash crop that contributes to the country’s export earnings. These cash crops are typically grown on smallholder farms, and the income generated from their cultivation supports rural livelihoods. However, the reliance on a few key cash crops also poses challenges, such as vulnerability to market fluctuations and the need for diversification to enhance economic resilience.

Challenges and Opportunities: Sustainable Agriculture for the Future

While cash crops contribute significantly to the economy, challenges such as fluctuating commodity prices, climate change impacts, and limited access to modern agricultural practices persist. The government of Burundi, in collaboration with international organizations, is actively involved in promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Efforts are underway to enhance crop diversification, improve infrastructure, and provide support to farmers to mitigate the challenges associated with cash crop farming. The goal is to build a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector that ensures the well-being of farmers and contributes to the overall economic development of Burundi. Investments in agriculture and initiatives that prioritize environmental sustainability are crucial for the long-term success of cash crop cultivation and the broader agricultural landscape in the country.

Major Cash Crops of Burundi


Burundi is renowned for producing high-quality Arabica coffee. Coffee cultivation is a major economic activity, and the country’s coffee is well-regarded for its distinctive flavor profiles. The coffee sector plays a crucial role in providing income to smallholder farmers and contributes significantly to Burundi’s export earnings.


Tea is another important cash crop in Burundi. The country’s tea plantations produce both black and green tea varieties. Like coffee, the tea industry supports rural livelihoods and contributes to the agricultural economy. Tea cultivation is often organized in cooperatives, fostering a collaborative approach to production.


Cotton is grown in Burundi for both domestic use and export. The cotton industry has been an important part of the agricultural sector, providing raw materials for the textile industry. Cotton cultivation involves smallholder farmers across the country.


Burundi also cultivates tobacco as a cash crop. The tobacco industry contributes to the country’s economy, although it is smaller in scale compared to coffee and tea. Tobacco cultivation is regulated, and the produced tobacco is used for both domestic consumption and export.