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  Burkina Faso

Reference Date: 11-March-2022


  1. Cereal production in 2021 estimated at a near‑average level

  2. Increased cereal import requirements in 2021/22

  3. Prices of coarse grains increased generally since early 2021 and in January 2022 at near‑record levels

  4. Food insecurity projected at alarming levels in 2022

Cereal production in 2021 estimated at near‑average level

Harvesting of the 2021 main cereal crops was completed by the end of last year. Aggregate cereal production is officially estimated at 4.7 million tonnes, slightly below the five‑year average and 9 percent below the bumper output in 2020, when favourable weather conditions and government support boosted yields.

The near‑average output reflects an overall expansion of the planted area, estimated at an above‑average level, that partially offset localized production shortfalls, mostly of sorghum and millet. In the main producing southern, western and central areas, the negative effects of erractic rains and pest attacks caused a reduction of yields. Meanwhile, in northern and eastern areas, a severe deterioration of the insecurity situation through 2021 resulted in significant production deficits. The increased insecurity limited farmers’ access to agricultural inputs and labour, forcing many rural households to abandon their crops in the fields.

Increased cereal import requirements in 2021/22

The country relies on cereal imports to cover its consumption needs and, in the 2021/22  marketing year (November/October), cereal import requierements, mostly rice and wheat, are estimated at 845 000 tonnes, 12 percent above the previous year and 14 percent higher than the five‑year average. The increase in import needs is mainly due to the country’s drive to build up stocks of rice.

The country, however, might not be able to meet the entire import requirements as trade flows are likely to be constrained by cross‑border disruptions due to political instability in the subregion as well as by export bans of cereals in neighbouring countries, particularly Mali.

Prices of coarse grains increased generally since early 2021 and in January 2022 at near‑record levels

Prices of locally produced coarse grains have generaly increased since early 2021. Following some seasonal easing in September and October, prices have strenghtened steadily since November 2021. As of January 2022, coarse grain prices were at near-record levels, up to 40 percent higher on a yearly basis, mostly reflecting conflict‑related disruptions to markets and reduced 2021 cereal outputs. In the conflict‑affected northern and eastern areas, the high concentration of internally displaced persons has increased local food demand, weighing on prices.

Strong export demand from neighbouring countries also contributed to add pressure on cereal prices. As a measure to contain further price increases, the government banned, in February 2022, the export of millet, maize and sorghum flours until further notice. This measure complements an export ban of cereal grains that has been in place since January 2021.

Food insecurity projected at alarming levels in 2022

The food security situation is projected at alarming high levels in 2022. According to the latest Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis, about 1.65 million people were estimated to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) between October and December 2021, including nearly 120 000 people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency). In the upcoming peak of the lean season, between June and August 2022, if appropiate humanitarian measures are not implemented, about 2.63 million people are projected to face severe food insecurity, the second highest level on record, just below the 2.9 million people estimated during the same period in 2021. The projected figure includes about 436 000 people facing CH Phase 4 (Emergency), above the 340 000 people estimated a year before.

The high prevalence of food insecurity in 2022 mainly reflects high food prices, low availability of cereals and increased insecurity, mainly in the Centre‑Nord, Nord, Sahel and Est regions, which have resulted in high levels of displacement. According to the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of December 2021, the number of IDPs was estimated at about 1.6 million, about 35 percent higher compared to a year before. The mayority of IDPs is concentrated in the regions Centre‑Nord and Sahel, where about 25 000 refugees, mostly from Mali, also sought shelter.

The “coup d’état” on 24 January 2022 is an additional factor that could increase civil insecurity and further stress the already severe food insecurity conditions.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.