New stakeholders and the promotion of agro-silvo-pastoral activities in southern Burkina Faso: false start or inexperience? | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2003
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This paper explores and evaluates the impact of a new form of large-scale agriculture which is becoming an increasing phenomenon in southern Burkina Faso. With severe ecological deterioration and food deficits, small-scale agriculture is usually seen as the key to economic prosperity, social solidarity and sustainable management of local resources. However, a set of new stakeholders, comprising politicians, entrepreneurs and employees, is promoting large-scale agribusiness as a relevant and viable alternative for agricultural development in the country. This paper questions this argument.Conclusions include:the new form of large-scale agribusiness can only work if those promoting it have a clear plan that allows them to increase productivitymost new stakeholders have only vague ideas that are not formalised, and they act spontaneously with no real knowledge of the costs of setting up a large-scale farm or of the technical, economic and financial options availablethese stakeholders start their activity by clearing the land allocated and then cultivate it for many years without any additional inputs such as tree planting, erosion control or use of organic matter. This has disastrous consequences for the environment and plays a part in further erosion of the natural potential of the areas concernedthe process is increasingly coming to resemble land-grabbing that may, in the short or medium term, cause social tension when the resource shrinksthere can be no increased investment in the agricultural sector without consistent, appropriate measures to provide greater security of tenurecurrently the smallest farm is more cost-effective than large-scale farms in southern Burkina Faso, and therefore measures are necessary to ensure that the promotion of agribusiness is not undertaken to the detriment of small family farmsthere are examples that show that if conditions are right (transport facilities and, above all, marketing networks), small farmers are able to make significant progress towards modernising farming.[adapted from author]

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

M. Ouédraogo


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