Barkina Faso
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Burkina Faso
Overview Background Solutions Documents
Burkina Faso has a large agriculture sector contributing almost 40% of the GDP and 80% of export earnings but it still falls into the FAO category of "low-income food deficit countries". This is mainly due to the high rainfall variability which ranges from 400 mm in the North East to 1200 mm in the extreme southwest.

Water and Water Resources
There are an estimated 8 billion m3 of surface water in Burkina Faso and 9.5 billion m3 of groundwater. Unfortunately the geology makes it difficult for smallholder farmers to access the groundwater.

The potential irrigable land is estimated at 233,500 ha. In 2004 Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Hydraulique et des Ressources Halieutiques (MAHRH) estimated that 32,258 ha (14 %) of the developed areas were actually harvested annually.

Agriculture and Irrigation Policy
The hydro-agricultural development policy (2004) emphasizes small-scale irrigation and promotes user participation, farmers' organizations and private investment in large and medium facilities.

Understanding farmers constraints and needs
In Burkina Faso, most of the agricultural production is rainfed and farmers are typically traditional subsistence farmers. However, smallholders are developing irrigated vegetable plots in areas with water and good market connections.

Options should be considered that apply to rainfed staple crops and enable diversification e.g., drip irrigation, supplementary irrigation with water lifting devices (motor pumps and solar pumps), development of water sources including small dams, ponds/boulis and “valley bottom” (bas fonds).

Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
AWM Options reviewed and Discussed with Stakeholders
  Water Access/ Storage  
Small dams & boulis (small ponds)
Large diameter wells for horticulture production & hand drilling
Deep wells (low cost)
  Water Lifting  
Motor pumps
Solar pumps
  Water Use/ Application  
Drip irrigation
Furrow irrigation (gravity)
Semi-concrete underground pipes
irrigation (systeme semi Californian)
Border irrigation (for vegetables);
Basin irrigation (for rice)
  AWM Approaches  
Low valley bottom development
Simple low valley bottom development
Soil and water conservation techniques (in-situ water harvesting)
  Support Measures  
Organization management of small dams & associated schemes
Improve capacity to select or use AWM options, and to innovate
Financial support for access to quality AWM equipment & nutrients
Improve value-chains for AWM equipment
Constraints to AWM Adoption
Stakeholders, including farmers, government officials, extension officers and suppliers of AWM technologies were asked the reasons for low levels of small-scale AWM adoption.
There are limited options available on the local market. This makes it difficult for the farmer to select the most appropriate option for his/her needs and to maintain the technology.
Farmers lack adequate knowledge of the range of AWM options because they are rarely provided with sufficient technical and financial advice or given demonstrations.
Adoption seems to be driven by availability (project investments, government imports or products marketed in the country) rather than needs or the actual potential of the solution.
Overcoming the Constraints
Farmers need support strategies to allow them to make informed decisions.
There could be more dissemination, training and extension particularly after an option has been introduced. Spare parts also need to be available.
A specific recommendation was to rethink small dams to take into account the reality of multiple uses of the stored water as well as equity issues from the design stage.
Improving land tenure and land access are also critical conditions for successful AWM – in particular around small dams and for low valley bottom developments.
Smallholders prefer individual systems over community systems even when collective systems are justified economically, and groundwater systems over surface irrigation systems.
Mapping the Livelihood Context
Livelihoods maps were used in the project to identify where people would benefit most from AWM interventions. These maps are based on the following principles:
Different contexts create different needs and require different types of AWM and other investments.
Different livelihood groups have different needs.
Water is more important to some livelihoods than others.
Project Country Contacts
Technologies Name
Country Coordinator and project contact point Dr. Hilmy Sally
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
National Focal Point Mr. Oumar Seydina Traore
Director, Direction des Amenagements et du
Developpement de l'Irrigation (DADI),
Ministry of Agriculture
Project Ambassador for West Africa Dr. M. Amadou Allahoury Diallo
independent consultant, Niger
If you are working on similar issues and would like to discuss them with the project team please contact the project secretariat at: