FAO Investment Centre

New investment in production systems and market access for Burkina Faso’s smallholders


A new investment programme, financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and developed with the support of the FAO Investment Centre, aims to enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change and other shocks by transforming their ability to access markets and strengthening production systems.

The eight-year, USD 116 million programme focusses on sustainable, inclusive investments in food and nutrition security. 

Building climate resilience through community-led initiatives

Burkina Faso grapples with a fragile economy and escalating climate threats – including temperature spikes and decreasing rainfall. 

The agricultural sector, which comprises 25 percent of the GDP and employs over 63 percent of the population, is particularly vulnerable.

“With the rapidly worsening consequences of climate change, strengthening the resilience of small-scale farmers is crucial for Burkina Faso” said Ann Turinayo, IFAD Country Director in Burkina Faso. “Supporting the adaptation of these farmers and ensuring that there are measures to mitigate the effects of climate change will be the focus of this new programme.”

More than 208,000 small-scale farmers covering a production area of ​​30,802 hectares throughout the North and the Center-West regions – including women, young people, internally displaced people and people with disabilities – will benefit from investments.

The programme also has ambitious aims to avoid or sequestrate over 4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by promoting agricultural investments in climate-smart farming practices and renewable energy sources such as solar.

The programme design – supported by FAO Investment Centre – integrates lessons from the National Land Management Programme, while building on the achievements of the recently completed Neer-Tamba Project. The approach ensures that local communities take the lead in identifying needs and undertaking sustainable investments.

Alessandro Marini, Service Chief for West and Central Africa, FAO Investment Centre, said; “This productive collaboration with IFAD brings much-needed investment to meet the practical needs of smallholders, with the goal to create lasting impacts in vulnerable rural communities in Burkina Faso.”

Securing land and livelihoods for smallholder farmers

Around USD 70 million will be allocated to strengthen the resilience of production systems and USD 25 million to transform smallholder farmers' role in the market. 

“Despite the challenging security environment and substantial climate threats, our aim is to substantially boost resilience and agricultural incomes within smallholder communities,” said Lazare Hoton, Senior Credit Rural Finance Specialist, FAO Investment Centre and project technical lead. “Strengthening smallholder production systems and facilitating market access is key.”

Promoting sustainable value addition and agriculture sector competitiveness, this initiative aims to boost investment capabilities, develop agribusiness in partnership with the private sector and financial institutions, nurture entrepreneurship, and improve market and credit access.

Another key goal is to secure land tenure for smallholder farmers. Rolling out effective land-use agreements was pivotal in previous successful development initiatives in Burkina Faso, such as the Agricultural Value Chains Promotion Project (PAPFA).

Ensuring secure land rights for target sites in the long term means investments are also more stable and sustainable. 

By bolstering infrastructure, enhancing marketing strategies, and providing investment security, the programme is designed to empower Burkina Faso’s smallholder farmers and reshape their market participation.

Photo credit © FAO/Giulio Napolitano