Burundi Bans Exports of Some Food Items; Warns of Drought

Burundi banned exports of some staple foods and called on farmers to put their harvests into public storage facilities as it warned of a long dry season in the East African nation.

“We urge all citizens to grow plants that take few days to be harvested,” Agriculture and Livestock Minister Deo Guide Rurema said Thursday on state television. Farmers should use government-managed warehouses in each province “to prevent people from misusing their harvest,” he said, describing the steps as necessary to avoid any food shortages.

Recent rains were heavier and longer than normal, while the coming dry season may see even less precipitation than is common, Rurema said. The foods banned from export include fish, beans, potatoes, cassava, cooking oil, milk, fruit and vegetables, according to an official list seen by Bloomberg News.

The landlocked nation has been rocked by unrest that’s left more than 470 people dead since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a third term, a move his opponents called unconstitutional.

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