More than 2 million people threatened by the food crisis in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s cereal production fell in 2021, exposing more than two million people to a food crisis situation, especially in regions regularly hit by jihadist attacks, according to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture published on Wednesday.

Compared to the previous year, cereal production fell by 10 percent last year, according to this document, i.e. a cereal deficit – the difference between demand and production – of 539,000 tonnes, the largest in five years.

As a result, “the cereals available cover the consumption needs of the population at 93 percent” at the national level, specifies the ministry in its report.

But the disparities between the regions remain strong. Those in the east and north of the country, particularly affected by the militant attacks and whose supply is complex, are the most in danger.

In total, 2.3 million people are threatened by the food crisis, including 323,000 in emergency for the period from March to May 2022. A figure which could approach 3.5 million during the lean season between harvests.

More than half of agricultural households (52 percent) “will not be able to cover cereal needs with their own production” and will therefore have to resort to imports, in the context of rising prices, in particular, due to the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, these poor harvests are due both to climatic shocks – long dry spells, floods – causing a general drop in yields and to the abandonment of land due to insecurity.

And the pastoral situation is hardly any better, between the lack of food for livestock noted in several provinces and the heavy losses of poultry due to avian flu.