(Ecofin Agency) - In Burkina Faso, the agriculture sector faces several challenges including insecurity and extreme weather conditions. With the new season underway, the government is stepping up efforts to boost production.
During its ministerial council last Wednesday, Burkina Faso gave its approval to a presidential plan aiming to cultivate 11,000 hectares of farmland in the upcoming 2023/2024 growing season.
The allocated budget of CFAF22 billion ($36 million) is divided into three parts. The first component, named "Initiative d'urgence pour l'intensification de la riziculture" (Emergency initiative for the intensification of rice production), focuses on the expansion of rice cultivation across 4,000 hectares.
The second and third components, respectively entitled "Programme alimentaire militaire du Burkina Faso" (PAMBF) and "Production de défense de la Patrie contre l'insécurité alimentaire" (PDPIA), involve the development of 3,500 hectares of farmland each.
"The objectives of this initiative include meeting the national demand for rice in a context marked by security constraints, climate change, and import restrictions linked to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. The initiative also aims to equip the military forces with agricultural skills for post-terrorism rehabilitation and promote the cultivation of high-yield crops such as sorghum, corn, and millet by the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP)," the government indicated in a release.
Local media outlet lefaso.net, quoting government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo, revealed that over 1,000 military personnel, 2,000 VDPs, and 4,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) will be mobilized to implement the project.
According to the official, the initiative will produce 190,000 tonnes of cereals and vegetables by the end of the 2023/2024 growing season. Meanwhile, the government believes that the country will harvest 8 million tonnes of farm products during the said season.