Court promotes WA ag in Burundi church visit

27 Mar, 2015 01:00 AM
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Republic of Burundi Minister for Agriculture Odette Kayitesi is presented with a copy of the January 29 Farm Weekly by retired WA farmer Barry Court.
Republic of Burundi Minister for Agriculture Odette Kayitesi is presented with a copy of the January 29 Farm Weekly by retired WA farmer Barry Court.

AGRICULTURE Minister in the central-African republic of Burundi, Ms Odette Kayitesi, was pleased to receive a copy of Farm Weekly to compare the quality of WA livestock with that in her country.

"She was very impressed with the WA cattle, they don't have cattle like that over there," retired farmer Barry Court, who gave Minister Kayitesi a copy of the January 29 Farm Weekly earlier this month, said.

Mr Court, son of former premier Sir Charles Court, older brother of former premier Richard Court, husband of tennis legend Margaret Court and a former president of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, was invited to visit Burundi because of his farming background and involvement with Life Victory Church.

He took the opportunity to personally deliver a Farm Weekly to the Agriculture Minister when they met to discuss agriculture development.

He also met other government ministers and Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza who is seeking a third five-year term next month

Mr Court was invited to visit by a regional governor.

"We have two churches over there and the governor's wife runs one of them," Mr Court said.

He said he and two other men from Life Victory Church visited the Burundi churches and were given a tour of the country of more than 10 million people that sits just below the equator on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

They visited tea, coffee, rice, sugar and cotton plantations.

"They've got fertile soils, abundant water and plenty of power, but infrastructure is their problem," Mr Court said.

"If you took a big tractor over there you'd put 100 men out of work."

One of the government's main concerns was how to get fresh milk to people in the cities, with cows still milked by hand and a poor transport system, he said.

Mr Court said the Burundi government was encouraging foreign investment to help develop infrastructure.

"We saw Italians building a big new resort, and there are already a number of luxury resorts because they've got 80 kilometres of Lake Tanganyika shoreline," he said.

FarmWeekly
Mal Gill

Mal Gill

is wool and dairy writer for Farm Weekly

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