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Country Briefs

  Burkina Faso

Reference Date: 18-June-2018


  1. Planting of cereal crops and tubers (yams) starts in southern part under favourable conditions

  2. Below-average harvest gathered in 2017 compared to average of last five years

  3. Atypical increase of prices of coarse grains since harvests due to strong demand from households

  4. Population in need of humanitarian assistance significantly increased compared to situation of March-May 2018

Planting of cereal crops starts in south under favourable conditions

In the southern part of the country (Banfora, Bobo Dioulasso, Gaoua), where seasonal accumulation of rainfall since early May resulted in favourable moisture conditions for crop establishment, the agricultural season is progressing normally, with land preparation and planting of rice, maize and sorghum. In other parts of the country, the season is yet to start with the arrival of the rains in June and the activities are limited to land preparation and the search for additional quantities of seeds.

Pastures conditions remain at below-average levels. However, field reports indicate large concentrations of livestock and over-grazing problems in certain areas. The animals cannot access the traditional grazing areas due to the civil conflict in Djibo and Koutougou (Province of Soum).

Below-average harvest gathered in 2017

Despite average to above average cumulative rainfall, significant dry spells and Fall Armyworm infestations and grain-eating birds affected the outcome of the 2017/18 cropping season. As a result, the national cereal production was estimated at 4.5 million tons, about 5 percent less than the last season and 2 percent less than the average of the last five years. Production of both sorghum and millet decreased by 10 percent compared to 2016. A below-average surplus production at household level has led to lower incomes from agricultural sales and decreased purchasing power, thus limiting non-food expenditures related to health, education, transportation and social ceremonies.

Prices of coarse grains seasonally increased in recent month

Most markets are well supplied with cereals, despite a slighlty below average 2017 production. The demand remains high especially for millet and sorghum due to the low level of household stocks. Overall, cereal prices remain generally higher compared to last year and to the average of the last five years. Compared to the previous year, the biggest price increases (around 20 percent) were recorded in Fada Gourma market in the Eastern Region for sorghum and millet. Elsewhere, increases were limited to not more than 10 percent following the seasonal trend.

Livestock markets are also well supplied. In addition, there is an atypical entry of small ruminants from Niger, probably due to the civil conflict in Nigeria (which is a traditional outlet of Nigerien livestock) and the low value of the Nigerian naira. However, demand is low for large ruminants whereas it is just average for small ruminants because of the low purchasing power of households. Livestock prices remained generally stable in the main reference markets.

Food assistance needs to be maintained for vulnerable people

Poor households in the Sahel and Northern regions are facing difficult food security conditions due to depleted stocks in a context of high cereal prices ahead of the coming season. Security issues in these parts of the country complicate the pastoralist situation and contribute to the deterioration of the households’ food consumption.

According to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 742 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance from March to May 2018. This figure is expected to increase to 960 000 people during the June to August period mainly due to localized production deficits in the past season. More than 25 000 refugees, mostly from Mali, are living in the country and are highly dependent on food assistance.

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