Burkina Faso Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Agriculture and fishing

Burkina Faso is an agricultural economy. The vast majority of Burkinis depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood. Many live on self-catering and mainly grow cereals such as millet and sorghum. Other common base crops are corn and vegetables.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Burkina Faso. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

Cotton used to account for over half of the country’s exports, but now gold has taken over as the largest export product. However, cotton production is still important and employs about three million people. The size of harvesters and world market prices for cotton have changed over time, and technologically advanced and subsidized large producers such as the United States pose a threat to Burkinian production, as well as cheap exporting countries in Asia. For Burkina Faso defense and foreign policy, please check prozipcodes.

Burkina Faso’s hand-picked and clean cotton is otherwise said to be of the highest quality. The large cotton company Sofitex is considered to be one of the most efficient and well-managed agricultural companies in Africa and is jointly owned by the Burkina State, French interests and cotton producers.

Sugarcane, sesame seeds, peanuts and shean nuts (an oil plant) are other important commercial crops in Burkina Faso.

The best cultivation areas are found in the middle and southwestern parts of the country, while northern Burkina Faso with its desert climate is unsuitable for agriculture. Instead, breeding of cattle, sheep and goats is the main food. Many cattle products, such as meat, skins and hides, are exported. Livestock management occurs mainly among the fulani people.

Dry climates, uncertain rainfall and lean soils make the crops susceptible to vegetation. Only a small part of the fields are irrigated. Grasshopper swarms destroy large parts of the crop for some years. Production can vary greatly. For a few years the harvesters produce surplus, which the farmers store for the emergency years that occur quite often. From time to time, it is difficult to get food enough for everyone.

Agriculture is usually conducted using age-old methods. Only every third farmer owns a plow or draft animal. Artificial fertilizers are used almost exclusively in cotton cultivation and other commercial agriculture. In addition, the soil is divided into many very small cultivation lots and the efficiency is low.

Commercial forestry is negligible, even though a quarter of the land area is covered by forest. The forest area is declining rapidly due to intensive hunting for firewood, but attempts are being made to slow down the development through tree planting.

Fishing in the lakes is an important nutritional supplement for the residents but has no significance for the country’s economy as a whole.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

28.6 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

44.2 percent (2016)

  • Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of BFA stands for the state of Burkina Faso in geography.



New army chief is added

December 29

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré appoints Oumarou Sadou as new army commander. He comes from the Sahel region where Islamist raids are common. In addition to the December 12 attack, soldiers have been killed on several other occasions.

Twelve soldiers are killed in attacks

December 12

At least twelve Burmese soldiers are killed when some 40 Islamist rebels attack them at a post at the city of Nassoumbou along the Mali border. After the deed, the assailants flee across the border to Mali. The victims are among the 600 strong anti-terrorist forces stationed in the area. Later, the domestic jihadist group takes on the deed.

Financial support is promised

December 8

At a donor conference in Paris, Burkina Faso is promised $ 29 billion in financial support in 2016 to 2010. The money will be invested in, among other things, an expansion of the mining sector, agriculture, telecom connections and more. At the same time, the uncertain situation in the country, not least the risk of kidnapping, can deter foreign companies from investing in the country.


“Coup attempt averted”

21 October

The authorities announce that a major conspiracy to seize power in the country has been stopped. Thirty men from the deposed President Compaore’s security force have been arrested after the plan for a coup was revealed earlier this month. The arrested soldiers are said to have planned to attack the presidential palace and imprison certain key figures in the government. The plan also included an exemption from those who are imprisoned for the 2015 coup attempt.

New party alliance

Eight opposition parties form the Coder for Democratic and National Reconciliation (Coder). Deputy President Compaoré’s party CDP is one of the parties included.

Islamists are suspected of shooting deaths

October 12

Five people, three police officers and two civilians, were shot dead in Ingangom in the northern part of the country, not far from the border with Mali. It is unclear who is behind the act, but the suspicions are directed at Islamist militia. A new group, the Islamic State Division of Greater Sahara, has recently formed in the area.


Prosecution against former head of government

September 16th

Former Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao is arrested and charged with murder in connection with the military’s attempt to crack down on the uprising that led to President Compaore’s fall in 2014. 33 people were then killed. According to sources, Tiao must have signed an order instructing the army to force the insurgency. Tiao, who fled to the Ivory Coast after that, had returned to his home country for questioning the days before the arrest.


Ten arrested for terrorist attacks

June 30th

All arrested are suspected of participation in the attack in Ouagadougou in January. But three of them are also believed to have been involved in a deed at a Ivory Coast resort in March.

Arrest warrants against Soro are withdrawn

June 8

It was Burkina Faso who had issued the order for Soro, who was accused of being involved in a coup in neighboring 2015. The Burmese military prosecutor says the matter is now being referred to the Ivorian authorities, and that Interpol did not want to assist them, since Soro is accused of a political crime. but risk being sentenced by a military court.


Success for MPP in local elections

May 22

Local elections that would have been held at the beginning of the year are now underway. The election will be a success for the ruling MPP, which receives 58 percent of the vote and wins in most major cities. The next largest party will be UPS followed by CDP. However, turnout is low, just under 48 percent.


Counterterrorism cooperation with Mali

Burkina Faso and Mali decide to cooperate against the increased threat from Islamist terrorists. The countries, both recently hit by severe terrorist acts, should increase the exchange of intelligence tasks and carry out joint investigations.

Arrest warrant against Ivorian President

January 19

Burkina Faso authorities issue an arrest warrant for Ivorian National Assembly President Guillaume Soro. He is accused of being involved in a coup attempt in the neighboring country in the autumn of the previous year. This occurs after a recording of a conversation between Soro, and a Burkinian politician, Djibril Bassolé, where they both express support for a coup (the recording must be done before the coup attempt). Bassolé is allied with Blaise Compaoré, former president of Burkina Faso, who was forced to leave power in 2014. An arrest warrant has also been issued for Compaoré, who has been living mainly in Ivory Coast since 2014. The arrest warrant against Soro creates tension between the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. A press release from Ivorian President Ouattara says the Ivory Coast should try to solve all problems through diplomatic means.

30 dead in terrorist attacks

January 16

Burkina Faso is shaken by its first major jihadist terrorist act. A number of armed Islamists storm a hotel and restaurant in Ouagadougou and kill 30 people, nearly half of whom are foreign nationals, including six Canadians. After a day, Burkese army soldiers, supported by a French elite force, can kill three attackers, while three are believed to have escaped and retaliated. The attack appears to have been a collaboration between al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) and the terror group al-Mourabitoun, the same constellation that in November 2015 carried out a similar act against a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako. As the hotel is under siege, two Australians are being kidnapped in northern Burkina Faso, near the Mali and Niger border. The Malian Islamist group Ansar al-Din claims to have robbed the couple, who run a surgical clinic.

Banking economist becomes head of government

7 th of January

President Kaboré assigns Paul Kaba Thieba to form a new government. Thieba has worked for many years at the West African Central Bank BCEAO but has little political experience. The new government will be ready a few days later. It consists of 30 ministers, including seven women. One of them, Aridjatou Rosine Coulibaly Sori, becomes Finance Minister. President Kaboré himself takes care of the defense, while the well-known journalist Alpha Barry becomes Foreign Minister. Twenty-five of the 30 ministers have had no connection with the Compaore regime.

Burkina Faso Agriculture and Fishing