Burkina Faso: African Development Bank supports an agricultural project benefiting 60,000 people in the Léraba plain

Located in the Cascades region, in western Burkina Faso, the Léraba plain is one of the most promising hydro-agricultural sites in this Sahelian country in West Africa. 

In 1987, the State built there, near the towns of Douna and Niofila, a dam with a capacity of 50 million cubic meters of water, which made it possible to develop 410 hectares irrigated by gravity.

Today, this infrastructure, rehabilitated in 2016, enables 1,200 farmers to produce mainly rice, corn and market garden crops. 

From one season to the next, these operators record good results which show the under-exploitation of the dam with regard to the irrigable potential of the plain, estimated at 1,410 hectares. 

The thousand undeveloped hectares are still cultivated in rainfed cultivation, with random yields and highly dependent on climatic conditions.

By 2025, a more optimal development of the enormous agricultural potential of the area will be possible thanks to the implementation of the Léraba Plain Development and Development Project (PAVAL). 

Officially launched on April 9 in Douna, under the chairmanship of the Burkinabè Minister of Agriculture, Salifou Ouédraogo, and in the presence of numerous producers, this project aims to strengthen the resilience of rural populations to food and nutritional insecurity, and to increase agricultural production. 

With a total cost of 39.77 million units of account (UA), or some 31.95 billion CFA francs, the African Development Bank is the main donor, with a contribution of 26.9 million ‘UA (20.97 billion FCFA), which breaks down into a loan of 22.9 UA, i.e. 17.67 billion FCFA,

The project provides for the construction of structural works for a total control of water which will make it possible to consolidate the existing 410 hectares and to develop the remaining 1,000 hectares. 

The project will also provide farmers with 21,000 tonnes of subsidized fertilizer, 72 tonnes of improved seeds, 9,600 liters of approved pesticides, and agricultural equipment. 

In addition, it plans to create an agropolis in the Cascades region, finance 300 rural microenterprises and build storage, processing and marketing infrastructure for agricultural products.

The Minister of Agriculture, Salifou Ouédraogo, welcomed the launch of this project, the design of which took sufficient account of specific themes such as food and nutritional security, development of value chains, youth employment. and women and their empowerment and climate change ”.

In fact, the realization of the PAVAL will result in an additional annual agricultural production of 21,500 tons, the improvement of the income of the producers and a broad empowerment of women. 

These will be allocated 50% of developed plots, secured by the issuance of land deeds, and will benefit from half of the 1,500 jobs that will be created. 

In total, the project will directly reach more than 9,000 beneficiaries, including 5,000 women, and indirectly, 50,000 people.

“The PAVAL will give a great boost to cereal and market gardening production which is essential to ensure food security in the long term”, declared Pascal Yembiline, the director of the country office of the African Development Bank in Burkina Faso.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, the government of Burkina Faso began in 2019 the development of a first batch of 170 hectares (out of the 1,000 hectares to be developed) for a total cost of around three billion CFA francs entirely public funded. 

He reassured producers that this work would be completed in 2021, and announced the imminent start of development work on 600 hectares entirely financed by resources from the African Development Bank.

In perfect harmony with two operational priorities of the African Development Bank, among the “High 5”, namely “feeding Africa” and “improving the living conditions of populations in Africa”, the Development and Development Project of the Léraba plain is one of the tangible results of the implementation of the 2017-2021 Country Strategy Paper concluded between the African Development Bank and Burkina Faso. 

This strategy has retained the “development of the agricultural sector with a view to inclusive growth” in Burkina Faso as one of its two pillars, alongside the “promotion of access to electricity”.

Over the past five years, funding from the African Development Bank has made it possible to develop 3,787 hectares and produce an additional 23,500 tons of cereals, notably as part of the Food Insecurity Resilience Building Project and nutrition and the Bagré Growth Pole Support Project.

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