Over the last decade, Burkina Faso has taken steps to accelerate its agricultural development, leading to an impressive 7.2% annual growth rate in production between 2005 and 2012. Such developments have been supported by several key structural reforms made by government, as well as interventions supported by development agencies. Government expenditure on agriculture has been above 10% (target as per the Maputo declaration) in the past few years, although much of this investment has focused on cotton. The country’s agricultural GDP growth rate stands at 5.3% which is largely driven by cotton and sugar.
However, the country still faces significant sector challenges – staple crop productivity is low at 1MT/ha due to the negative climate change effects, poor soils, limited use of quality inputs and ineffective extension services. The Rural Investment Plan phase II (PNSR II) currently under development and that includes agricultural sector, reflects the government’s desire to revitalize the rural economy through decentralized planning and decision making processes.
AGRA strategy prioritizes initiatives that complement the work of government and build on its previous investments, and inherent strengths to increase smallholder farmers’ income and food security. The strategy draws heavily from lessons learned from AGRA’s past investments totaling ~$21.5 million in Burkina Faso agriculture in research and capacity building, input systems development, market development and policy. AGRA’s strategy emphasizes gender inclusive transformation through gender integrated approaches to drive equitable access to inputs, finance and agriculture education.
At the national level, AGRA will in the short term support the finalization of the PNSR-II and the ongoing decentralized planning process for this National Agricultural Investment Plan (PNIA), particularly strengthening capabilities to attract foreign direct investment. Medium and long-term country support interventions may include support to the government to roll out an e-extension program, strengthen the national seed and fertilizer systems, develop a national resilience plan, reform the existing input subsidy program, and enhance accountability systems.
In addition, AGRA will support the following systems and farmer level initiatives in high production areas:
- Enhance off-taker partnerships between processors, traders and producers that lead to assured markets and sustained adoption of inputs along the cotton belt
- Improve seed system and fertilizer supply chains that enable farmers to have access to affordable and quality input as well as extension services in a timely manner in Centre-Est and Centre-Ouest.
AGRA-supported initiatives in Burkina Faso are expected to directly impact 837,000 farmers over the next 5 years, while indirectly impacting another 1.9 million farmers.