At a glance – agriculture in Burkina Faso

As with most other Grow Africa countries, the majority of the population in Burkina Faso are subsistence farmers. Key crops include rice, cereals and fonio.

Cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts and beans are also grown, while goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and camels, chickens, ducks and guinea fowl are widely raised. The most important agricultural export is cotton. However, mangoes, sesame seeds and beans are also important exports.

The country’s Programme National du Secteur Rural (PNSR) seeks, by 2025, to ensure that Burkina Faso’s agriculture sector is modern, competitive, sustainable and an engine of growth, based on family farms and high-performing agriculture enterprises that provide national food security. 

Grow Africa’s work in Burkina Faso

The government has developed a ‘growth pole’ approach to driving increased agricultural production and efficiency. The municipality of Bagré is the first example of this and has received substantial financial support, particularly from the World Bank.

Grow Africa has aligned its intervention in the country with growth pole project activities, with an emphasis on facilitating private sector dialogue with relevant government bodies to accelerate investments and support the inclusion of smallholders.

Simultaneously, Grow Africa has pursued a comprehensive value chain approach, which drives the development of specific industries and benefits smallholder farmers, ensuring they are represented at the negotiations table.

  • To date 19 companies – 10 of them domestic businesses – have signed LOIs totalling $64 million in the country.
  • International LOIs include the African Cashew Initiative (ACi) and the Competitive African Cotton Initiative. Domestic companies include Groupe Velegda SARL, in the marketing sector, focusing on oilseeds and cereals (rice, maize, sesame, soya); and in the processing sector, Sarepta S.A. (shea butter) and Sodepal (cereals).

Investment expenditure by mid-2015 was $37 million – 58% of the total planned. $57 million worth of commodities were produced or procured.

A total of 503,636 smallholders were reached in 2014, predominantly through the supply of input products and services, financial or data services and through training, and 19 jobs were created.

Primary barriers to investment in Burkina Faso include access to finance, lack of access to quality seed and fertiliser, as well as the identification of appropriate partners across the supply chain to enable investments. Grow Africa is exploring the establishment of a local/regional finance working group to coordinate financial institutions’ links with business to support private investments.

Availability of inputs – The lack of appropriate seed and fertiliser makes operations difficult. 

Locating partners – For the completion of large projects, businesses need to partner across industries and supply chains.  In the small agribusiness environment, companies in Burkina Faso have a hard time locating appropriate companies to partner with.

In the vital rice sector, Grow Africa will continue to advocate for Burkinabe private sector participation in the multi-stakeholder platform with key strategic partners such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), AfricaRice and the Competitive African Rice Initiative.

Grow Africa will continue supporting the Bagré growth pole through the participation of LOI companies.

Projects, Platforms, and Working Groups

Grow Africa supports well-functioning rice platforms

In recognition of the sizeable opportunity represented by strengthening the domestic rice sector for job creation, improvement of smallholder incomes, food security, and reduced import dependence,

New best practice on business models

Commercializing smallholder production is of critical importance in securing a sustainable future of African agriculture.


Access to finance at affordable rates is a systemic constraint facing smallholders and agricultural SMEs across the contine

Investment Opportunities

Government - Driven Investment Opportunities

Opportunities to invest in agriculture projects

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Time: 1pm London/ 4pm Nairobi: Thursday 9th March 2017


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