BURKINA FASO – Burkina Faso has launched a US$16 million project for the development of the rice and corn sectors under the “Integrated Development of Agricultural Value Chains Project” (PDI).

Gaoussou Sanou, secretary general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal and Fisheries Resources commissioned the project on September 29.

According to the executives, this government program which mainly targets the rice and corn sectors will be implemented in the Hauts-Bassins region over a period of 5 years.

With a total cost of 10 billion CFA francs ($16.1 million), the executives revealed that 84% of the overall envelope is ​​financed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The project aims to develop 729 hectares of agricultural land, 32 km of road, the construction of 10 agricultural greenhouses, rice parboiling units, corn processing and storage warehouses.

According to Boukary Sawadogo, project coordinator, this initiative should also allow the creation of at least 28,000 direct and indirect jobs for the benefit of young people and women. 

In Burkina Faso, rice and corn are among the main cereals grown along with sorghum and millet. The Hauts Bassins region located in the west of the country is one of the main production areas.

corn is the second cereal cultivated after sorghum with a production of around 1.8 million tonnes per year, or 90% of consumption needs which amounts to more than 2 million tonnes, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As for rice, the West African country still depends up to 60% on imports to cover its milled rice needs, which are around 1 million tonnes per year. 

Broken rice also represents the country’s leading imported agricultural product with purchases totaling 71.4 billion CFA francs ($115.2 million) in 2022, according to data from the National Institute of Agriculture. Statistics and Demography (INSD).

In addition, the project is envisioned to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Agro-pastoral and Fisheries Offensive 2023-2025 plan that the government launched recently.

Presenting the project, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal and Fisheries Resources, Ismaël Sombié, specified that priority was given to eight (08) sectors: rice, corn, potatoes, wheat, fish, livestock/meat, poultry, and mango.