Community Animal Health Workers trained
Animals distributed to poor households
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries on the planet; it is dependent on public aid and heavily indebted. According to the multidimensional poverty index, 82.8% of the population is considered poor (UNDP, 2014). Despite a slight improvement of a few key indicators in the last few years, the country is far from a real advancement.
Traditionally an agro-sylvo-pastoral country, Burkina Faso is facing major challenges for its agricultural and rural sector, which is the country’s main source of income. 40% of GDP comes from agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing. Agricultural production systems rely largely on family farms of various sizes, occupying about 90% of the labor force. Although the country devotes a significant part of its budget to the agricultural sector, the political leadership seems too unfavorable to family producers, yet the most numerous. The creation of “agricultural growth poles”, particularly for rice production, and the accession to the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security (NAFSN), focuses more on the logic of agribusiness, to the detriment of smallholders.
Access to productive resources (land, capital, credit) remains crucial for smallholders, and especially for women, which are particularly affected. In rural areas, livestock, which accounts for 18% of GDP and 26% of exports in value, is an important lever for strengthening the livelihoods of agro-pastoralist communities.
The country is also facing major environmental problems, including progressive desertification, land and water degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change. These environmental problems are strongly marked in the north of the country (Sahel region), where pastoral livelihoods are heavily affected.
Finally, due to the situation of instability in northern Mali, thousands of refugees have been flowing since 2012 to neighbouring countries, included Burkina Faso. This massive inflow puts even more pressure on the scarce water resources and grasslands.
VSF Belgium has been active in Burkina Faso since 2005. Over the years, it has implemented numerous development and emergency programs in collaboration with several local partners. AVSF is working in Burkina Faso since 2016, with a multi-country project to develop fair trade value chains in the sub-region, supporting the creation of national platforms of certified organizations and consolidating the West African fair trade network FTA-WAN.
What we do:
- Strengthening livelihood of pastoralists through restocking, pasture management, borehole rehabilitation, feeding, support to veterinary services, improved access to market;
- Supporting Malian refugees and host populations to establish micro- and small enterprises, maintaining social and economic cohesion between the two groups: milk value chain development, restocking of small ruminants, fodder production and storage, etc.
- Women empowerment through promotion of livestock-related activities (dairy production, diversified sources of revenues) and capacity building;
- Improving local breeds;