BURKINA FASO – The government of Burkina Faso has channeled 113.2 million CFA francs (US$184,653) to boost wheat production to reduce imports which cover almost all the consumption needs of the country.

Ecofin Agency has reported that the move follows a financial agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal and Fishery Resources and the Institute for the Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA) relating to the production of wheat seeds

As part of this new partnership, INERA researchers have committed to initially making 10 tonnes of seeds available to the Ministry of Agriculture for the benefit of farmers in a bid to bolster its production locally.

Burkina Faso wheat production is negligible hence it meets the domestic demand through imports mainly from France and Russia

According to the Trade Map platform, rice accounts for 95% of the country’s imports to meet the local demand of 315,000 tonnes.

However, with a great appetite for rice from its population, the region does not meet the optimal natural conditions for the cultivation of grass prompting for development of climate-sensitive varieties. 

The country, however, is optimistic that the current project will bear fruits and shield the country from huge import bills.

According to the authorities, 50 varieties of soft wheat and 49 varieties of durum wheat for making couscous are already being tested in the commune of Farakoba in the Hauts-Bassins region. 

Earlier, the Burkina Faso government had already tried several times to produce wheat, but the projects initiated by the executive so far did not last. 

INERA, on the other hand, believes that this partnership is the beginning of better days as it marks the first commitment with the Regional Directorate of the Institute for the Environment and Agricultural Research.

“We have never benefited from such a commitment and support for twenty years otherwise we would be out of reach of the shortage that we have experienced in recent times, “said Jacob Sanou, Regional Director of Research. and innovation in the Hauts-Bassins

The last experiment dates back to the 2005/2006 season during which the country officially produced 2,000 tonnes of the cereal as part of a pilot project implemented over an area of 500 hectares in the Sourou valley.

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