Smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso: fighting land degradation from the ground up
26 May 2021
Participatory Natural Resource Management and Rural Development Project (Neer-Tamba Project)
GEF Implementing Agency
To promote and implement sustainably managed agro-ecosystems that are key to food security in the northern region of Burkina Faso.
land under integrated and sustainable management
GHG emissions avoided or reduced
In the northern region of Burkina Faso, 90% of the population are smallholder farmers with limited access to natural resources. Population growth has led to a growing demand for cultivable land and biomass, resulting in degradation of land, desertification, overcrowding, and diminishing wildlife and water resources. Deforestation is particularly critical in the northern region where desertification has severely impacted crop productivity and the availability of land for grazing. This shortage of arable land has led to conflicts over the use of natural resources.
Climate change is already impacting Burkina Faso through variation in rainfall, decreased rainfall, increased temperatures, and increased frequency and severity of climate events. These climate impacts lower agricultural productivity and further limit accessibility and availability of natural resources and ecosystem services.
To address these challenges, the Government of Burkina Faso, with IFAD support, launched the RFS Burkina Faso project, the Neer-Tamba project, to improve living conditions and incomes for rural households affected by poverty and food insecurity. This project is part of an approach based on building resilience. It draws on innovative activities to create and strengthen committees and associations at the sub-watershed level.
The project, which also extends to the country’s Eastern and North Central regions, aims to benefit 17,800 rural households through three principal components:
To ensure sustainability of the interventions, practices and arrangements recognised by stakeholders, particularly farmers, are already being scaled up.
The project aims to meet the following targets:
Capacity developed for national and regional multi-stakeholder platforms.
Integrated approaches for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) scaled up within agro-ecosystems.
Monitoring and Evaluation coordinated, including key indicators for decision-making on food security and environmental best practices.
The project falls under the financial oversight of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Development, and the technical oversight of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development.
Other key stakeholders include the Executive Secretariat, National Council on Food Security; Permanent Secretariat for Coordination of Agriculture Sector Policies, Ministry of Livestock and Water Resources; Ministry of Environment; Green Economy and Climate Change Permanent Secretariat, National Council on the Environment and Sustainable Development; and National Bureau of Rural Chambers of Agriculture.
Each RFS country project conducts activities that fall under common thematic areas within the programme. Explore each project theme relevant to the RFS Burkina Faso country project below to see which activities are being implemented under each theme.
Stories from the Field
Explore our stories from the field to learn more about the activities, milestones, lessons learned, and achievements of the RFS Burkina Faso project.
We have a growing library of reports, briefs, case studies, media, tools and guidelines. Explore all resources related to the RFS Burkina Faso project to get greater insight into our programme activities.
The RFS Burkina Faso project is promoting and implementing sustainably managed agro-ecosystems that are key to food security in the northern region of Burkina Faso. During the 2021 country roundtable, Environmental Monitoring Officer Sidbewindin Simon Kabore provided an update on the project’s activities, achievements, challenges and lessons learned. The presentation was followed by facilitated Q&A session to allow country project and RFS partners a chance to exchange information and learn more about RFS activities in Burkina Faso.
To achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030, the government of Burkina Faso, with support from IFAD, has been applying top-down and bottom-up approaches simultaneously.
At the “top”, the national government has been working to integrate land degradation neutrality targets into planning frameworks, translating national-level targets into actionable plans at the local level. At the “bottom”, smallholder farmers play a central role through a community-led, locally-owned approach that focuses on capacity development and empowering farmers within their communities.
This brief, the latest product within the RFS Knowledge Management Series, highlights good practices that have emerged from the Burkina Faso project. It also outlines lessons learned that could be integrated into projects facing similar challenges related to land degradation, low agricultural productivity and food insecurity.