Agriculture is fundamental to food security and the Burkinabè economy and directly contributes to resilience throughout the region. While improvements in the sector have led to an increase of 41.3 percent in crop production over the last decade (2011-2020), food insecurity in Burkina Faso is reaching alarming levels. More than 3.5 million people, roughly 20 percent of the population, are food insecure, and the World Bank estimates that 40.1 percent of the population remains below the poverty line. Most Burkinabe do not yet benefit from higher-value, marketed agricultural production. In fact, 86 percent of the population still relies on subsistence agriculture.
The agriculture sector is characterized by limited access to quality inputs and services, lack of secure access to land and profitable markets, and limited availability of financial services. Laws and regulations around seeds, registering fertilizer, and accessing finance have been particularly weak in Burkina Faso, and the country has underperformed in these areas in comparison to other countries in the region. In addition to these ongoing constraints, Burkina Faso faces rapid population growth, the impacts of climate change, and growing insecurity. This puts the already vulnerable agriculture sector further at risk.
In FY 2021, USAID provided more than $11.6 million in agriculture and food security funding to reach some of the most vulnerable communities, with an emphasis on women and youth. With these resources, USAID supports natural resource governance and management, agricultural market systems, access to finance, and nutrition activities.
USAID is supporting Burkina Faso’s agriculture sector to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals, households, and communities. Its activities focus on improving agriculture and animal production and productivity by promoting best practices that integrate climate information, climate risk management, and sustainable use of natural resources.
To increase investment in agricultural land, USAID promotes access to land for vulnerable populations with better access to credit through partnerships with microfinance institutions. USAID also reinforces national policies to improve the regulatory climate for essential inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer. USAID activities supported the revision of the national seed law to align with regional seed regulations, funds research to improve seed quality and productivity, and engages with the private sector for quality agricultural inputs and service delivery.
In addition to land access and regulatory work, USAID is working to improve the competitiveness and inclusiveness of three value chains: cowpea, small ruminants, and poultry. These interventions include strengthening the organizational capacities of farmer groups and market systems to provide safe, nutritious, and affordable food. These multi-sector activities support longer-term food security and agriculture development objectives while addressing the root causes of persistent vulnerability.
USAID is reducing food insecurity in Burkina Faso by strengthening market systems to provide safe and nutritious food, increasing access to water for productive use, and reducing vulnerability to climate-related risks and shocks. USAID supports markets and livelihood development by helping producers enhance their products to meet market demands.
USAID also supports farmers, herders, and local communities to increase the productivity of three value chains - cowpea, small ruminants, and poultry - using sustainable and climate-conscious agricultural processes. In addition, USAID works to increase access to affordable inputs and services, such as improved seeds, quality fertilizers, animal feed, private veterinary services, and agricultural advice.
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance contributes funds for multi-year resilience and food security activities. These activities work at the community level to provide a foundation upon which agricultural growth and livelihoods, natural resource management, inclusive governance, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions, can build.