AGRA signs MoU with Burkina Faso to renew support for the Country’s Agribusiness plans

September 3 2019

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has
entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Burkina
Faso that will see the organization extend its operations in the West African
country.

The MoU was signed in Accra on Tuesday 3 September 2019 by
AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata and Burkina Faso’s Minister for Agriculture
and Hydraulic Development, Salifou Ouedraugo, under the witness of
international dignitaries meeting in the Ghanaian capital for the 10th African
Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).

AGRA has worked in Burkina Faso since 2006 making
investments in input and output markets, systems development, innovative finance,
research capacity building and policy development. So far, AGRA has invested
US$21.5  million in Burkina Faso’s
agricultural sector, building an asset base in technologies, partnerships and
models that can now be scaled for significant impact on the status of inclusive
agriculture in Burkina Faso.

Some of the investment was used to train 413,587 farmers
on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), a set of agricultural practices
adapted to local conditions maximizing the efficiency of nutrient and water use
to improve agricultural productivity. As a result of the training, 86,295ha of
land were cropped with the production enhancing technologies. In addition,
through AGRA’s intervention, 9,849 MT of produce were commercially aggregated
at a value of US$ 1.9M. Similarly, AGRA’s support led to the development and
release of 17 varieties of improved seed in Burkina Faso out of which six were
commercialized. This is in addition to 38 Burkinabe scholars receiving support
in the acquisition of PhD and MSc degrees. All these investments, brought
together, contribute to the government’s National Plan for Economic and Social
Development (PNDES), which pursues an agriculture-led transformation of the
economy.

AGRA promises to maintain its contribution to the government’s
quest for a robust agriculture industry strategy that effectively mobilizes
resources for the benefit of smallholder farmers and other players in the food
value chains. In its role, AGRA will continue until 2023 to invest funds and
other supportive resources to meet the Government’s need for a strong
agriculture sector that creates employment and improves food security through
support for effective coordination and implementation of national plans.

“Burkina Faso is one of the countries where we have
received great support since we began our operations in Africa. The signing of
this MoU is confirmation of our commitment to our partnership in the fight
against food shortage and poverty, with the confidence that by 2025, the
country will have achieved the goal of zero hunger,” Dr. Kalibata said.

AGRA will help strengthen Burkina Faso’s agricultural
sector systems for improved productivity and the marketing of produce to
increase the incomes of at least 1 million smallholder farmers. In return, the Government
of Burkina Faso pledges unilateral support for AGRA by providing an enabling
environment for collaboration.

“In the years that we have worked with AGRA, we have
realised that it is a serious and competent organization and we promise
unlimited support for their operations as we pursue food security for our
country and the continent at large,” Mr. Ouedraugo said.

Burkina Faso’s economy has grown considerably during the
past decade with an annual average growth rate of over six percent. The economy
depends heavily on agriculture, forestry and livestock farming, as well as the
exploration of mineral resources. Agriculture contributes about 30 percent of
the country’s GDP and employs over 80 percent of the workforce. The sector is
dominated by small-scale farms of less than five hectares and its main products
are sorghum, millet and maize, and cotton.

Before the gold mining boom, cotton was the main commodity
exported, accounting for about 60 percent of export revenues. Presently, the
country represents less than 15 percent of export revenues, but Burkina Faso
remains one of the leading producers and exporters of cotton in Africa. 

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