Flag of Burkina Faso

Agriculture and Food Security

Women displays her onion crop
A women proudly displays her onion crop

Burkina Faso experiences low and variable rainfalls, land degradation, deforestation and desertification. Despite the harsh climate, Burkina Faso’s agriculture sector continues to generate roughly a third of the country’s GDP and employ 80 percent of the population. Agriculture production is generally characterized by low crop and livestock productivity and mainly supports subsistence livelihoods. Regional trade is essential to economic growth; however, Burkina Faso remains extremely vulnerable to external—specifically regional—trade shocks. While improvements in the agriculture sector have greatly reduced the threat of recurring famine, the food security situation in Burkina Faso remains a reoccurring challenge. More than 3.5 million people, roughly 20 percent of the population, are food insecure and approximately 50 percent of rural households are not able to produce sufficient quantities of food to sustain their caloric intake.


USAID is supporting Burkina Faso’s agriculture sector with resources focused on improving the agricultural livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations. Under the Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) initiative and other regional programming, activities focus on improving access to credit, diversifying economic opportunities, intensified agricultural  and animal production and natural resource management through legally recognized land use plans. In addition, USAID is working to improve the competitiveness and inclusiveness of three pro-poor value chains: cowpea, small ruminants and poultry, while strengthening the organizational capacities of farmer groups.



USAID is reducing food insecurity through a combination of emergency humanitarian and development assistance. Food for Peace (FFP) initiatives, a key component of the RISE program, comprise the core elements of the food security program in Burkina Faso. RISE uses a multi-sectoral approach to address the diverse and structural causes of chronic vulnerability by increasing sustainable livelihoods and improving health and nutrition. The FFP Development Food Assistance Programs aim to improve diversification of household food production and income generation; reduce chronic malnutrition among children under 5 years old, as well as pregnant and lactating women; and empower women through increased school enrollment and attendance of girls.

Last updated: November 21, 2016

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