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Remotely Monitored Country
Market Fundamentals

Burkina Faso Staple Food Market Fundamentals

October 2017

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Executive Summary

  • This FEWS NET Market Fundamentals report presents findings to inform regular market monitoring and analysis in Burkina Faso. This report was prepared concurrently with an Enhanced Market Analysis (EMA) report, focusing on Centre-Nord and Est Regions of Burkina Faso, as well as Maradi and Zinder Regions of Niger. Among other uses, the information presented jointly in these two reports can be used to support the design of food security programs, including but not limited to informing a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bellmon determination in advance of an FY 2018 USAID-funded development food assistance programs in Burkina Faso. 
  • The main source of food availability in Burkina Faso is national production, although rice imports are growing. Sorghum, millet, and maize are the three main coarse cereal crops grown and consumed in Burkina Faso. The country is basically self-sufficient in terms of sorghum and millet production and has had a growing maize surplus for the past decade. Rice is also an important part of the household food basket, particularly that of urban households. Local production supplies half the rice consumed by Burkinabe households and international imports account for the other half. 
  • Crop production in Burkina Faso is largely based on rainfed farming systems and, thus, remains vulnerable to climatic hazards resulting in large spatial-temporal anomalies. Only local rice production systems use irrigation methods, with small irrigated areas planted in rice crops. Interannual variations in irrigated crop production are slightly smaller than in rainfed agriculture. Local coarse cereal availability has been growing since the year 2000, jumping from an average of over 3.2 million MT between 2001 and 2005 to more than 4.4 million MT between 2011 and 2015. This trend was driven mainly by a steady growth in seed maize production. There has also been a sizable increase in rice production in relative terms (a percentage increase), though it is still limited compared with that of other coarse cereals. 
  • In addition to the aggregate trends for the country as a whole, there are also a number of important spatial trends. For example, western areas of the country in the Sudano-Guinean agro-climatic zone have structural surpluses, while central (high-consumption) areas and areas farther north in the Sudano-Sahelian and Sahelian zones have deficits. Thus, domestic trade flows between surplus and deficit areas of the country. 
  • There are two main trends in market structure in Burkina Faso. Virtually all locally produced commodities are supplied and traded by small growers, collectors, and wholesalers, while imported commodities (rice in particular) are traded in bulk by large enterprises with the financial means to make procurements on international markets. Pricing mechanisms also differ according to the source, with prices for local commodities determined by the law of supply and demand and prices for imports oftentimes established based on business transactions between the government and private companies. 
  • Burkina Faso plays a pivotal role in regional trade, particularly in the central basin (Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo), and the country also ensures cereal supplies (mainly maize, but other crops as well) in border areas of eastern Niger. This trade in crops is underpinned by regional agreements within the framework of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS). However, national and, in some cases even sub-national, policies have the power to halt this trade to safeguard national food availability, particularly in a crisis year. 
  • While there have been regular improvements in the area of production, storage is one of the weakest links in marketing chains in Burkina Faso, particularly in rural areas. On the other hand, major importers of staple commodities (rice, wheat, sugar, and vegetable oil) have large warehouse facilities, mainly in major urban consumption centers. The national stock management agency, Société Nationale de Gestion du Stock de Sécurité Alimentaire (SONAGESS, or Security Stock Management Company) also handles the procurement and distribution (through sales and grants) of national stocks ranging in size from 45,000 to 60,000 metric tons.
  • Coarse cereal prices typically move in line with seasonal trends, dropping at harvest time (between September and November) and rising at the height of the lean season (in June/July). On the other hand, movements in the prices of imports from international markets are driven by world prices, pricing policies, and exchange rates (USD/XOF), with all trading conducted in U.S. dollars.
  • Livestock raising (mostly small ruminants) is an important source of income for poor households in Burkina Faso. There are two types of production systems (extensive rural and intensive urban/peri-urban systems). Livestock production in northern regions of the country is largely based on extensive rural production systems. Burkina Faso has a livestock production surplus. Burkinabe livestock are sold throughout the region, with exports to Nigeria and other coastal states (including but not limited to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire).
  • Cowpea production has been increasing for the last ten years or so. However, actual production figures see-saw based on seasonal agro-climatic performance and existing market incentives. Most consumption is concentrated in urban and mining areas, with exports to regional markets (mainly in the coastal states).
  • Oilseeds and edible oils are also mass-consumed commodities in Burkina Faso. Most national oil production which, according to estimates, averaged over 65,000 MT/year between 2010 and 2014, is from seed cotton. There are also small to negligible amounts of peanut, sesame, shea nut, and soybean oil production. However, domestic supplies do not meet demand, which is estimated at over 150,000 MT, thus necessitating large amounts of imported oil, particularly palm oil, from Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Burkina Faso has a well-established system for the collection of data on agricultural commodities. The responsibility for these activities lies with various actors, including SONAGESS and livestock market information systems, government offices and agencies, and the private sector. However, the market monitoring and data collection system in Burkina Faso suffers from a number of weaknesses, such as financial and human resource constraints and problems with data management.
     

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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