Africa report

BURKINA FASO

Area: 274 000 sq.km
Climate: Tropical wet-dry in south, semi-arid in north; one rainy season: May-October
Population: 10.56 million (1995 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: U.S.$ 300 (1993)
Specific characteristics of the country: Low-income food-deficit country; sahelian land-locked country
Logistics: Roads inadequate during rainy season; adequate rail link to Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire)
Major foodcrops: Millet, sorghum, pulses, maize
Marketing year: November/October; Lean season: July-September
Share of cereals in total calorie intake: 73 percent


CURRENT SITUATION

Land preparation and planting commenced in May without notable delays and continued in most of the country during June. Localized dry spells in the north and centre of the country necessitated re-sowing. In July, in the southern half of the country, crop development was satisfactory, while in the centre and Sahelian areas, localized droughts once again led to re-sowing in some areas. Crops throughout the country benefited from the abundant rains in August although development was late in some northern villages. Yields of late planted crops have been negatively affected by the cessation of the rains in October and for this reason the north of the country is expected to witness a decline in cereal production. Pasture regeneration began in June without notable delays, except in some northern provinces which had to wait until July. Livestock conditions were generally favourable in the country as a whole and forage was abundant in August. Pasture availability declined at the end of the season. Globally, the replenishment of ground water resources has been lower than last year’s, posing the risk of imminent water shortages in the north of the country.

The pest situation has been relatively calm this year. The main pest problems have been grasshoppers and cantharids. No Desert Locusts were reported. Pockets of drought led to the development of leaf-eating caterpillars. Infestations of borers and aphids also caused some crop losses.

An FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at the end of October estimated 1995 cereal production at 2 448 500 tons (including rice in paddy equivalent), a fall of some 2 percent from the record level of 1994. Millet production fell by some 100 000 tons, while sorghum increased slightly (by 20 000 tons). Production declined in 18 provinces, notably in Passore, Soum and Yatenga Provinces where the reduction exceeded 20 percent. In contrast, 12 Provinces witnessed an increase in production, particularly Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Nahouri and Sissili.

The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. Markets are well-supplied but the availability of cereals is lower and prices somewhat higher than at the same time last year and there are substantial regional price variations. Food supply difficulties are likely in the provinces affected by reduced harvest, notably in the north. Transfers from surplus areas are necessary. In early December, the Government launched an appeal to the international community for emergency assistance for at-risk populations. It has estimated the food aid needs at 24 000 tons of cereals which can be purchased locally or borrowed from the National Security Stock. Therefore, no imports of coarse grains are necessary, Donors are urged to undertake local purchases for their on-going or future food aid programmes. Tuareg refugees who have fled from Mali in the last five years (mainly since June 1994) are currently receiving food assistance. UNHCR and WFP estimate their total number at 39 000 of whom 33 000 are receiving food assistance in refugee camps.



CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1995/96 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)

Wheat Rice Coarse grains Total
Normal production - 33 2 250 2 283
Normal imports 40 80 40 160
of which: Structural food aid 5 3 30 38
1995/96 Domestic availability 1 59 2 537 2 597
1995 Production - 54 2 367 2 421
Possible stock drawdown 1 5 170 176
1995/96 Utilization 41 119 2 537 2 697
Food use 40 109 2 143 2 292
of which: local purchase requirement - - 25 25
Non-food use 1 10 364 375
Exports - - 30 30
1995/96 Import Requirement 40 60 - 100
Anticipated commercial imports 35 55 - 90
Food aid needs 5 5 - 10
Current Aid Position
Food aid pledges 2 4 - 6
of which: Delivered 2 - - 2
Estimated per caput consumption (kg/year) 4 10 203 217
Indexes
1995 production as % of normal: 106
1995/96 import requirement as % of normal: 63
1995/96 food aid requirement as % of normal (including refugee needs): 26

TOC