Country study Burkina Faso
Source: J.J. Kessler et C. Geerling, 1994
The population of Burkina Faso experiences an important migration at both internal and external levels. The average ratio between internal and external migrations is as follows: out 100 migrant people, 71.2 % migrate inside the country and 28.8% abroad.
External migrations occur towards those countries where labour demand is high. It is actually difficult to give precise figures of Burkinabès living abroad.
Internal migrations occur towards both urban centres (rural exodus)
in search of employment and from some rural areas towards other areas
that are relatively prosperous for agricultural activities (rural
Rural migrations occur as follows:
The settlement of populations in these areas is anarchic. However, as far as organised migrations are concerned, the National Office in charge of Land Development (ONAT) is trying to organise the settlement of migrants.
The growth rates of migrations in host provinces between 1975 and 1985 were as follows : 88% for the Houet province, 44% for Mouhoun, 73% for the Tapoa, 64% for the Kossi and 106% for the Sissili (J.J. Kessler et C. Geerling, 1994).
According to OUEDRAOGO N., 1997, three land systems which coexisted in Burkina Faso can be distinguished. They are as follows: customary land system, colonial land system and post-colonial land system.
The customary land system is almost the same everywhere in Burkina Faso. It is based on the collective ownership of land. The collective ownership of land is exercised by the land custodian (known as Tengsoba for the Mossi, Tarfolo for the Sénoufo, Susunnbaso tinibaso for the Bwaba etc. (OUEDRAOGO S. 1993). In all customs the land custodian is the closest descendant of the first settler. In this capacity, he administers the land patrimony of the group in the interest of all the community. He distributes land or he authorises land use, following the indispensable rites, by households and individuals that require it and in accordance with their needs. Thus, the applicant acquires a user right, which must not be mistaken for ownership right in the Western sense of the term. However, after the death of the applicant his heirs will settle and exploit the same land without the land custodian intervening anew. This land is available for the whole community for any possible use in case no heir claims it. Land is given provisionally to strangers (non-natives) even if this provision may be permanent. Therefore the right accorded to the stranger is precarious, hence the notion of land insecurity for migrants. In this case, land is simply lent, often following royalties in kind or performances of various services. Security imperatives require that the applicant be first socially integrated. However, except in rare cases, land cannot be refused to an applicant according customary law. Therefore the customary land system is complex in practice.
At the economic and social levels, it must be acknowledged that the customary land system, with all its utilisation nuances, opposes creative investments or dissuades them through the almost permanent insecurity as far as individual use is concerned. In this system, land is not given to those who have the necessary means to develop it, but to those who won the confidence of the owning social group, and what is more, on a provisional basis.
This system is essentially based on private ownership while making provision for a public estate. Private estate is acquired through purchase, exchange, gifts or legacies, etc. Public estate is made up of natural properties such as hills, rivers, natural or artificial lakes (roads, artificial water bodies, etc.). This system was resisted to by the customary land system.
The land system in force now is based on the agrarian and land reform (RAF), adopted in 1984, which grants user rights to individuals and moral entities.
It makes provision for a national land including all the lands within the borders of Burkina Faso, no matter their former status or legal systems. State property is inalienable, unseizable and imprescriptible. In addition to ownership right, the State assigned itself that of management. In this way, it defines rights for groups and individuals. It should be pointed out that the settlement and exploitation of rural lands by peasants for subsistence are free.
The RAF so designed shatters the mystic aura of land and takes away from peasants their references and customary value systems by leading them to practise new farming techniques (protection and restoration of soils, fertilisation, etc.). This law particularly aimed at making land available to those willing to develop it, and at organising the rational management of this resource which has become in the end scarce in Burkina Faso.
Therefore, this land system aims at favouring the development of productive agricultural forces. However, it does not encourage populations to make sustainable investments and a lot of resistance to its enforcement can be noticed.
Many regional divisions of Burkina Faso were made by the technical services of ministerial departments (MARA, MEE, MAT...) following precise specific objectives. The agricultural zones described here are those determined by INERA.
It covers the majority of the Burkinabè Sahel and includes the Sahel provinces of Oudalan and Soum. It is the driest region of the country. The rainy season, which lasts approximately three months extends from June to September. Rains are erratic and the total rainfall in a year is hardly more than 600 mm. Evapotranspiration there is very high and is combined with high amplitudes of temperatures during the day and at night.
By tradition, it is a livestock zone. Millet is the main crop, while white sorghum comes second. There are almost no rotation crops. Fallowing decisions are dependent on the displacement of animal habitat or penning (KAFANDO P., 1995). Night penning of animals on plots after harvests constitutes the main form of soil fertilisation. The inputs of chemical fertiliser are negligible. Animal traction, which has been introduced by vulgarisation agents, is not yet generalised. However, in the Soum there are a few hitches with donkeys and camels. Usually agricultural work is manual in this region where the margin of manoeuvre of producers is narrow as far as the choice of cropping and production system is concerned.
It covers the following provinces: Sanmatenga, Namentenga, Oubritenga, Boulkiemdé, Sanguié, Kadiogo, Ganzourgou, Bazèga, Zoundwégo, Sissili and Nahouri. It extends to almost all the central plateau, with an annual rainfall ranging from 600 mm in the north to 900 mm in the south. Unequally distributed, rains spread over 4 to 6 months. Agriculture in this region is mainly rain fed.
Due to its high population density, this region experiences serious problems of environmental degradation resulting from the overexploitation of its meagre resources. The population pressure in the centre is such that there is practically almost no fallow anymore. Therefore, soil fertility is not restored, accelerating in this way its degradation and aggravating the adverse effects of wind and hydric erosion. The inputs of fertilisers to make up for and restore crop exploitations are weak. This system of land use gradually leads to soil depletion, hence the notion of land overexploitation.
Farming systems in the regions are based on cereals like in the east. Sorghum and millet come first, i.e. about 80 % acreage, followed by groundnuts and quite far behind maize.
The introduction of animal traction dates back from the 1960's. In general, the use of traction equipment is limited to ploughing before planting, particularly for cash crops (groundnuts and cotton). It cannot be said that animal traction is a characteristic of this region as most farming activities are still done manually. Local varieties of sorghum and millet are still preponderant. Recourse to improved seeds concerns only groundnut and rice.
As a result of the many water bodies in the central regions, market gardening is developing. Since it is an out of season activity, producers have the opportunity to get to work and increase their incomes.
It includes the provinces of Bam, Passoré, Yatenga and Sourou. This region is characterised by a rainfall, which varies between 600 mm in the north to 800 mm in the south. The dominant economic activity is livestock raising, with, however, animal numbers less than those of the Sahel and the central regions. But the degradation of the climatic conditions obliged producers to adapt themselves. In this sense farming systems in this region are now based on the couple millet-sorghum (white). Groundnut comes in third position. Pedo-climatic conditions offer producers of this region little choice in terms of crop diversification. Croplands are lacking and they are continuously used under rotations: millet-sorghum-groundnut However, it can be noticed that farmers are making efforts to overcome this hostility of nature. It is one of the regions, where the use of organic manure (animal manure and excreta), in association with the use of straw, is quite common. In provinces such Yatenga and Passoré, the Zaï (improved traditional technique) is used to restore deteriorated land. Although the introduction of animal traction goes as far as the beginning of independence (BDPA and SATEC intervention), this practice is also constrained for many reasons : soil fragility, high costs, maintenance of draught animals. As a result, farming activities still remain manual. In the north-western region, it is worth noticing the existence of the Sourou valley, which provides great opportunities for the cultivation of irrigated rice, maize and market gardening. With irrigation, producers undertake two campaigns of rice and earn substantial incomes. It must be noticed that in the irrigated areas, agricultural intensification techniques are used.
It covers the provinces of Boulgou, Kouritenga, Gourma, Gnagna and Tapoa. Some provinces (Gourma, and Tapoa) in this region are the least populated and thus the least deteriorated in Burkina Faso. The annual rainfall varies between 600 mm and 900 mm. It shelters the country's big fauna reserves. It is considered as a cereal producing region. Farming systems there are characterised by the predominance of sorghum and millet in rotations. Groundnut comes next. In recent years, the penetration of cash crops such as cotton has been noticed thanks to political incentives.
It covers the provinces of Kossi, Mouhoun, Houet, Kénédougou, Bougouriba, Comoé and Poni.
The rainfall is in the range of 900 mm and 1100 mm. It constitutes the region with the best agricultural potential. Maize is the main food crop. The growing of rain-fed rice is also developed. It is the chosen zone for the main industrial and cash crops (sugar cane and cotton).
The western region is also that of yams. Mainly cultivated in the Comoé and Poni provinces, the position of yam is relatively important in the farming system. Its cultivation demands rich soils, hence the need to clear new plots as fields become poor. It is a destruction factor of biological diversity.
The western region, no matter what is said, is the region where the modernisation of agriculture is fast (use of improved seeds and grain drills, mechanical ploughing and weeding, treatment with insecticides). In addition to the large adoption of animal traction, favoured by the cultivation of cotton, an experiment of mechanisation occurred thanks to the financial facilities provided by cotton cultivation. This intensification of agriculture is limited in the short term by the fragility of soils whose fertility conservation is not guaranteed. The low rate of organic matter in the soil and the need to restore soil depletion constitutes challenges for most producers in the region despite their satisfactory technical level.
In this region, fallowing is a practice still in force, because of the relative availability of lands. But the land pressure, which is growing with the flow of migrants, tends to make it disappear.
Many national and international institutions are stakeholders in the management of biological resources in Burkina Faso. First, there are, at the national level, ministerial departments and their decentralised agencies with technical, leadership and organisational roles in the field, but also many integrated rural development NGOs, Programmes and projects and, second, at the international level donors and research and development institutions.
These two ministries undertake resources management activities through their 12 decentralised agencies constituted by the Regional Centres for the Promotion Agro-pastoral Activities (CRPA) involved in the field with Agricultural Provincial Services (SPA) or Provincial Services of Animal Resources (SPRA).
Similarly, many autonomous Programmes and projects are implemented through the above-mentioned ministries. As far as these Programmes are concerned, one can mention, National Land Management Programme (PNGT), Agricultural Sector Sectoral Adjustment Programme (PASA), etc. The main realised or on-going projects are: PDRI/HKM, the CES/AGF special Programme in the central plateau, the SOUM livestock project, NOUHAO, PATECORE, PDRI/TAPOA and PDRIZORGHO, the NAHOURI Local Development Project, etc.
This ministry is the institutional guarantor for the conservation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources. It is particularly involved with environment, forestry and water domains.
As far as forests are concerned, intervention is mainly done by :
Activities undertaken are part of plans, Programmes and projects such, as the National Action Plan for the Environment (PANE), or "National Action 21", the National Action Plan for Desertification Control (PNLCD), the Burkinabè Sahel Programme, the Cartographic Tools Project for the Management of the Environment, the Participatory Management Project of Natural and Wildlife Resources, the Biological Diversity Integrated Project of Game Ranching Systems (GEF/Nazinga Project), etc.
In water domain, intervention is made through:
In addition, there are autonomous projects and attached services such:
Actions undertaken by this ministerial department in the domain of natural resources management and production systems deal mainly with research. The institutions in charge of research Programmes are as follows :
Actions are undertaken through plans and Programmes such as the Research Strategic Plan, Programmes of Natural Resources Management Programmes and Production Systems Programmes, Animal Production, Annual Plant Production, Forestry Production, etc.
The agencies of this ministry involved with the management of natural resources and production system are three:
The agencies involved in actions of natural resources management and production system are:
The contribution of this ministry deals with the rational exploitation of medicinal products from flora and fauna. A technical agency, the Department of pharmaceutical services has been assigned this mission.
At the level of this ministry, it is mainly the National Commission in charge of Prices which contributes in the domain of the use of biological diversity products. In addition, the Department of Industrial Development, and the Departments of Trade and Economic Affairs Inspection are the most involved in actions in the domain of natural resources and production system particularly concerning :
One (1) institution from this ministerial department, particularly the customs service, is involved with the control of the export of biodiversity products.
At this level, the provincial and departmental administrative services are involved.
Many NGOs finance and/or undertake activities within the framework of the management of natural resources in Burkina Faso. In general, their approach is based on the full participation of communities and on techniques applicable by the latter. Among theses NGOs, there are:
In Burkina Faso, there is practically a customary right over lands, represented by "Land Custodians" and consequently, over biological resources contained in these lands. Thus, land custodians are the traditional guarantors of the management of biological resources.
Among the donors, the following may be listed:
The sub-regional and international institutions involved in the management of biological resources and production system are :
CILSS, CIEH, ICRAF, ICRISAT, IITA, CRTO, IPD/AOS, OCCGE, Antenne Sahélienne, ORSTOM, CIRAD, UICN, etc.
The sustainable management of species and populations has always been a concern in Burkina Faso. In order to attain these objectives, legislative and regulatory measures have been taken in favour of both species and natural formations and the country's development. However, a lot of measures are now confronted with enforcement difficulties.
In this domain, two frameworks are concerned: the national framework and the international framework.
The instruments approved in this framework are constitutional, legislative and regulatory
The Burkinabè Constitution of the fourth Republic approved on June 2, 1991 accords a special importance to the protection and management of the environment. It makes many provisions for this purpose.
First, the preamble, which is part and parcel of the constitution, asserts the increased consciousness of the population as far environmental issues are concerned. This awareness of the population of the need to protect the environment was the result of a collective start supported by an inflexible political will.
In addition to the preamble, the protection of the environment constitutes the object of two other provisions of the Constitution. First, there is Article 14 which confers the status of national patrimony upon national resources. In other words, it is the inalienability of these natural resources, at the detriment of the local populations, which is underscored.
As for Article 29, it establishes among human fundamental rights the right to a healthy environment. This measure specifies the State's duty towards citizens, but also towards future generations for which it is our responsibility to bequeath a natural patrimony in an acceptable condition, i.e., which does not jeopardise their chance of survival.
Article 101 of the constitution, concerned with the distribution of legislative and regulatory competencies, deals with the environment. It includes the protection of the environment in matters where the law fixes the fundamental principles.
This establishment of the constitutional value of the protection of the environment is all the more reinforced since it is the only Burkinabè constitutional measure which specifies that the protection of the environment is considered as a State obligation.
Burkina Faso has at its disposal a legislation and regulations covering all the aspects of environmental protection and promotion. In a specific way, these legal provisions apply to land, forestry, wildlife, fishery, water, agricultural and livestock systems. For example, the following measures, which directly apply to biological diversity, may be quoted:
The exhaustive list of legislative and regulatory instruments having an impact on biological diversity may be consulted in the document entitled "Élaboration d'une monographie nationale sur la diversité biologique : Étude juridique" (Development of a Country Study on Biological Diversity: Legal Study), a study conducted as part of the this monograph. Table 4 shows the quantitative situation of regulatory laws and texts, while table 5 is a caption of legal instruments according to domain of competencies.
Table 4: List of legislative and regulatory texts on the environment
|Laws and texts||Quantitative situation|
Table 3: Summary of legal instruments in force in Burkina Faso.
|Domain of competence||Number of instruments||Impact|
|Agriculture and livestock||106||Direct|
|Wastes and pollution||8||Direct|
Following the other countries of the international community, Burkina Faso subscribed to a number of intentional commitments of which the following impact on the domain of biological diversity:
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