Burkina Faso is a landlocked country lying between Ghana to the south and Mali to the north, with limited natural resources. Income per head was just US$615 in 2015) and its population, estimated at almost 18.11 million in 2015, is growing at 3 per cent a year.
The economy relies heavily on agriculture, which employs about 80 per cent of the workforce, according to the World Bank. Cotton is the main cash crop, while gold exports have gained importance in recent years.
GDP growth in the decade to 2013 averaged 6 per cent, but fell to 4 per cent in 2014 and 2015 because of lower prices for raw materials, a political upheaval, and an Ebola epidemic in the sub-region.
Poverty declined from 47 per cent in 2009 to nearly 40 per cent in 2014, but remains widespread in rural areas. Poverty is more common and more severe among women, who often have limited access to land and decision-making.
Some of the main causes of rural poverty in Burkina Faso include:
- shortage and poor quality of arable land;
- poor communication and transport networks;
- wide fluctuations in climatic conditions; and
- low productivity in a subsistence farming regime.
In Burkina Faso, IFAD loans help build inclusive and sustainable institutions underpinned by pro-poor investments and policies and appropriate innovation and education.
Key activities include:
- enhancing and diversifying the livelihoods of rural poor and marginalized groups, especially women, in a sustainable way through inclusive local private-sector development; and
- enhancing decentralized governance of, and equitable access to, public goods, services and natural resources.
IFAD works with the Government to tackle challenges and develop operational strategies and policies based on best practices, feeding knowledge and ideas into policy development.
By working at various levels, we help the Government create an environment which facilitates efforts by local people to reduce rural poverty.
Burkina Faso relies heavily upon agriculture, which employs close to 80 per cent of the workforce.
Since 1981, IFAD has supported 13 programmes and projects in Burkina Faso totalling US$238.7 million, directly benefiting 506,200 rural households.