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Published as FARA Research Report Volume 4 No: 7 (2019)

The full report can be found here.

Executive Summary

Although predominantly an agricultural country (40% of GDP), Burkina Faso continues to import cereals to feed its population. Farmers in Burkina Faso still use rudimentary tools to produce in unpredictable climatic conditions. Late rains, shorter seasons, and farm labour shortage are all challenges that are difficult to overcome through draught power and manual work. And yet, the population engaged in agriculture in Burkina Faso consists largely of smallholder producers (75%). As a result, only 25% of farmers are deemed to have the means to acquire a tractor to mechanize farming operations in order to modernize the agricultural sector and address the issues of productivity and labour shortage, as well as the need to plough at the right time to keep up with the crop calendar.

Seventy-five per cent of producers are assumed to be unable to afford a tractor to deal with the numerous challenges mentioned above. The aim of the study of the needs for mechanized agricultural services in the cotton-growing area of western Burkina Faso was to analyse the need and demand for mechanization services in order to put forward appropriate solutions that address the concerns of most agricultural producers.

The study shows that demand for tractor services was quite low (30%). The main crops of the area were maize, cotton, sorghum and millet respectively. Sixty-five per cent of total demand was met. Prices for services varied between 15,000 and 30,000, whereas willingness to pay was between 10,000 and 17,500. This translates into a sharp imbalance between supply and demand for mechanized agricultural services.