According to a2zgov, Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa located between the countries of Mali and Niger. It is bordered by six other countries including Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria. The country has an area of 274,000 square kilometers and a population of nearly 19 million people. The capital city of Ouagadougou is home to more than 1.5 million inhabitants and serves as the hub for business and culture in the country.
Burkina Faso is divided into 13 administrative regions which are further divided into 45 provinces and 301 departments. The official language of Burkina Faso is French although many other languages are spoken throughout the country including Mooré, Fulfulde, Dioula, Gourma, Bissa, Bobo Madaré among others. Islam is the predominant religion practice in Burkina Faso with around 60% of the population identifying as Muslim followed by Christianity at around 25%.
The economy of Burkina Faso is largely based on agriculture with around 80% of its population employed in this sector. Cotton production remains one of the major sources of income for both rural and urban communities across Burkina Faso while gold mining has become an increasingly important part of its economy over recent years as well. Other key industries include food processing, textiles manufacturing as well as light manufacturing such as leather goods production. Despite these industries providing employment opportunities for many citizens across Burkina Faso there still remains much poverty within its borders due to a lack of economic opportunity for those living in rural areas or those who lack access to resources or education needed to gain employment in more lucrative sectors such as mining or industry related jobs.
Agriculture in Burkina Faso
Agriculture is the backbone of the Burkina Faso economy, employing about 80% of the population. Cotton production is one of the main sources of income for both rural and urban communities across Burkina Faso. It is estimated that around 2.5 million people are employed in cotton production, making it a vital component of the national economy. Other crops grown in Burkina Faso include sorghum, millet, rice, maize, cassava, potatoes and vegetables such as okra, eggplant and tomatoes.
Livestock farming is also an important part of the agricultural sector in Burkina Faso with goats being the most widely reared animal followed by sheep, chickens and cattle. Livestock rearing provides food security to families across Burkina Faso as well as providing a source of income through sales at local markets or to larger companies who buy animals for meat processing purposes.
Burkina Faso has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at improving agricultural productivity including investment into infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems as well as providing training to farmers on more efficient farming techniques such as crop rotation and fertilization methods. The government has also provided access to credit facilities to smallholder farmers allowing them to purchase necessary equipment or materials needed for their farms which would otherwise be too costly for them to purchase on their own.
Despite these initiatives there still remains challenges within Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector due to lack of access to resources such as water or land for expansion or modernization purposes which limit productivity gains within this sector. Furthermore climate change has had a major impact on crop yields across Burkina Faso with an increase in droughts over recent years leading to decreased harvests and income losses for many farmers across the country who heavily rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Fishing in Burkina Faso
Fishing is an important part of the economy in Burkina Faso, providing a source of food and income for many people living in the country. According to the World Bank, fisheries and aquaculture activities contribute approximately 0.2% of Burkina Faso’s GDP and employ more than 200,000 people.
The main fishing areas in Burkina Faso are along the rivers Niger, Mouhoun and Volta. These rivers are home to a variety of fish species such as catfish, tilapia, carp and barbel. In addition to river fishing, lake Chad is also an important fishing area for Burkina Faso providing a range of species including tilapia, perch and barbel.
Inland fisheries are mainly artisanal in nature with most fishers using traditional methods such as hook-and-line or gillnets to catch fish. The use of industrial equipment such as trawlers is prohibited by law in Burkina Faso due to its potential environmental impact on fragile ecosystems.
The government of Burkina Faso has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of fisheries within the country including setting catch limits for certain species so that overfishing does not occur as well as introducing regulations regarding fishing gear types which must be used by fishers when catching fish from inland waters. Furthermore awareness campaigns have been launched across rural areas educating local communities about sustainable fishing practices which can be adopted when catching fish from inland waters such as releasing juvenile fish back into their natural environment or avoiding certain areas during spawning season so that reproductive rates remain high.
In order to increase productivity within this sector there has been investment into infrastructure such as roads leading down to fishing areas which allows fishermen easier access to these sites as well providing training on different techniques which can be used when catching fish from inland waters such as using gillnets or hook-and-line methods instead of trawling which can have a damaging effect on aquatic ecosystems.
Despite these efforts there still remains challenges within this sector due to lack of access to resources or modernisation efforts needed for expansion purposes which limit productivity gains within this sector making it difficult for fishermen in Burkina Faso to make a living from their trade alone.
Forestry in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is home to a diverse range of forests and woodlands. The country covers an area of nearly 274,000 square kilometres, with approximately 37 percent of this land mass covered in forests and woodlands. These forests provide a range of important functions including water catchment, soil conservation, carbon storage, biodiversity protection and livelihoods for local communities.
The majority of Burkina Faso’s forested areas are found in the south and west of the country, where the climate is more conducive to tree growth. In total there are an estimated 8 million hectares of forest in Burkina Faso with approximately two thirds classified as closed canopy forest and one third as open canopy forest. The closed canopy forests consist mainly of deciduous species such as dawadawa (Detarium senegalense), shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa) and baobab (Adansonia digitata). Open canopy forests are dominated by savanna species such as acacia (Acacia spp.) and combretum (Combretum spp.).
Forests in Burkina Faso have been subject to significant pressure from anthropogenic activities such as agriculture expansion, fuelwood collection, charcoal production and unsustainable harvesting practices. This has caused deforestation rates in the country to increase dramatically over recent decades resulting in estimated annual deforestation rates between 0.7-2%. As a result there is an urgent need for improved management practices to be implemented so that these vital ecosystems can be protected for future generations.
The government of Burkina Faso has implemented various initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of forestry within the country including introducing regulations regarding logging activities which must take place under controlled conditions so that they do not cause long term damage to ecosystems as well as increasing investment into infrastructure such as roads leading down to forestry sites which allows easier access for loggers so that they can transport timber out quickly and efficiently without causing further environmental destruction. Furthermore awareness campaigns have been launched across rural areas educating local communities about sustainable forestry practices which can be adopted when harvesting timber from forested sites such as using selective cutting techniques or avoiding certain areas during regeneration season so that natural succession cycles remain intact.
Despite these efforts there still remains challenges within this sector due to lack of access to resources or modernisation efforts needed for expansion purposes which limit productivity gains within this sector making it difficult for loggers in Burkina Faso to make a living from their trade alone.