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Frauen und Männer transportieren Holz in Dissin, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

Prospects for Farmers in Burkina Faso

Project Status Completed
Main sector

Life is hard in the provinces of Kourweogo, Oubritenga, Sanmatenga and Bam in Burkina Faso. Periods of extreme dryness alternate with torrential rain and flooding on an increasingly frequent basis. The effects of climate change are readily apparent in Burkina Faso. It is not uncommon for entire harvests to be destroyed. For a country in which 90% of the population consists of smallholders and subsistence farmers, this can quickly become life-threatening.

A woman harvesting corn in Burkina Faso.
A woman harvesting corn in Burkina Faso. © Sos Sahel

But that is not all. In years in which the provinces are spared by the weather, pests and disease destroy up to 40% of the harvest. As a result, the spectre of hunger is always looming. In terms of numbers, this means that over 80% of farmers cannot produce enough food to properly feed their own families. This affects children the most, with many suffering from chronic undernutrition.

From Subsistence Farming to Entrepreneurship

Welthungerhilfe's main goal in Burkina Faso is to transmit agricultural know-how. Harvests must be better protected from the effects of extreme weather, and yields must be multiplied. Around 630,000 locals benefit from the following measures.

Instruction focuses on women in particular, allowing them to become independent and to contribute to their families’ livelihood. © Mirjam Knickriem/Welthungerhilfe
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The former subsistence farmers are now selling surplus produce, including prepared goods, in the market. © Sos Sahel/Welthungerhilfe
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Selling in the market allows smallholders to save or invest. © Sos Sahel
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90% of people in Burkina Faso live as subsistence farmers in such huts. © Mirjam Knickriem
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Entrepreneurial Efforts Lead to Success

The project in Burkina Faso is already showing great success. The smallholder families are recording distinctly improved crop yields. This has led to a significant improvement in food and nutrition security and to surplus produce being sold thanks to increased yields. The profits can be saved for hard times and be invested in agricultural technology or education.

How Welthungerhilfe Supports People in Burkina Faso

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