Producing quality rice for Burkina Faso's markets

Producing quality rice for Burkina Faso's markets

Rice farmers and rice mills in the Centre-East region of Burkina Faso take up the challenge of maximising their production potential to offer better quality rice on the local market.
This project is part of the following focus area:

Rice production in Burkina Faso does not cover the needs of the country’s population, which are estimated at more than 650,000 tonnes per year. Burkina only produces 300,000 tonnes. In spite of this apparent deficit of 455,000 tonnes, the market for rice produced in Burkina (paddy and husked rice) is barely controlled by local stakeholders. This is one of the main bottlenecks in the value chain.

The Centre-East region contributes about 1/5th of national rice production and has 29% of the country's processing capacity. The region has 27 processing units with a capacity of 124,440 tonnes. Today, they operate at barely 30% of this capacity. In the region, in addition to the developed plain of Bagré, there are more than 1,670 ha of developed lowlands. Rice yields have remained stagnant (between 1.1 and 3.5 tonnes per hectare in the Centre-East) with a multitude of varieties, but not all of them are appreciated by consumers. In 2016, production reached 59,000 tonnes of paddy in this region, on 24,000 ha.

Several studies have shown that rice produced in Burkina is difficult to market for various reasons. Rice importers are not interested in the small quantities of rice produced in the country, and the quality is often insufficient, for example with impurities in white rice. Burkinabe rice producers face supply difficulties to process the rice, related to the availability of quality paddy, as well as their difficulty in accessing credit as working capital. And lastly, local rice is not sufficiently promoted, and on traditional markets, consumers only find imported rice.

Faced with this context, some stakeholders are considering responses that could be fatal to the country’s rice sector:

  • In order to reduce financial risks, farmers reduce their investments and produce even less despite Burkina's known high potential. This situation is aggravated by the scarcity of labour and adapted equipment...;

  • Processors are abandoning units built at a cost of millions of CFA francs due to a lack of regular supplies;

  • The traders of the region who are nevertheless willing to market the rice produced in Burkina do not know how and under what conditions to get regular supplies in quantity and quality.

At the same time in the Centre-East region, Ghanaian traders are introducing significant distortions into the paddy market by offering prices above 200 FCFA per kg against the 160 FCFA offered by local processors.

And yet, the market is increasingly demanding more and more rice produced in Burkina. This is evidenced by (i) the importance of the country's needs in terms of rice consumption, (ii) successful experiences of market-oriented production showing that significant changes can occur within the value chains, and (iii) processors and distributors who are more responsive to consumer preferences. Two major importers in the area (50,000 tonnes/year each), are interested in "rice made in Burkina".


  • Reinforcing the production of quality paddy in quantity: professionalising paddy producers
  • Ensuring a sustainable and regular supply of processing units and increasing the utilisation rate of existing units.
  • Developing inclusive business relationships between stakeholders
  • Developing support services adapted to the needs of stakeholders, particularly rice farmers.
  • Strengthening access to finance for value chain actors
  • Strengthening governance within the rice value chain in the region

While the above challenges are important, there are also opportunities: the extension and application of technologies and good practices can considerably increase yields; and the main rice importers have good knowledge of the market and distribution networks to make local rice a success.

Our strategies

  • Assessing the paddy requirements of existing processing units;
  • Supporting producers to meet the demand of processors: this entails providing support for access to inputs and the adoption of the technical guidelines for the sustainable production of quality paddy, such as the Sustainable Rice Production (SRP) standard and the Smart Valley approach;
  • Supporting processors in upgrading their processing units;
  • Supporting stakeholders to work towards better governance of the value chain, with the aim of making it more competitive. This includes making market information available and strengthening consultation through multi-stakeholder processes;
  • Supporting advocacy actions for a more favourable environment for the development of an improved market for "rice produced in Burkina Faso".
  • Facilitate access to finance for all stakeholders: we will test a new model of value chain financing, with the financial risk shared between input suppliers, processors and farmers' organisations;
  • Providing technical assistance to develop and strengthen business relationships in the rice value chain.

Particular attention will be paid to the inclusion of women and young people, especially in the area of service provision throughout the value chain.

Rikolto's role will be to

  • Strengthen the entrepreneurial capacities of the actors;
  • Support the development of business relations between stakeholders, so that rice processors obtain regular supplies from producers and can in turn supply traders on a regular basis;
  • Support producers to access the paddy market;
  • Contribute to the upgrading of processing units;
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder processes;
  • Support the National Union of Rice Producers of Burkina (UNPRB) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burkina (CCIB)’s advocacy to promote local rice;
  • Promote SRP and the Smart Valley approach;
  • Encourage young people to set up and manage SMEs providing services to producers;
  • Ensure the coordination of project actions.

Target group

The project will benefit a total of 50,000 smallholders grouped in farmers' organisations. It targets changes in at least 25 local rice processors and 2 rice importers.

Project intervention zone

The provinces of Boulgou, Kouritenga and Koulpelgo in the Centre-East Region of Burkina Faso.

Duration of the project

36 months, from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2021

Expected results by September 2021

1. At the level of the market:

  • At least 60% of the 27 processing units will sign paddy supply contracts with farmers' organisations in the project area.
  • Producers will contractually supply a cumulative 125,000 tonnes of paddy rice to processors over the three years.
  • Importers involved in the project will receive 50,000 tonnes of rice over the three years.
  • 2 collaboration contracts will be signed, involving importers, processors, farmers' organisations and distributors of agricultural inputs.
  • 20 farmers' organisations will participate in the grouped sales.

2. Related to rice production:

  • 25,000 rice producers will participate in group sales with processors.
  • 40,000 rice producers will be trained in post-harvest technologies and rice quality management.
  • 100 women will be trained in modern steaming techniques.
  • At least 50,000 farmers will be trained in good agricultural practices, including the System for Rice Intensification (SRI) and Urea Deep Placement (UDP).

3. At the level of service provision

  • 100 jobs for young people and women will be created or strengthened.
  • 15 service providers will be trained and linked to the rice farmers' organisations.
  • Farmers will be linked to at least one agricultural insurance provider.
  • At least USD 10 million will be mobilised to finance the rice value chain.
  • A rice market information system will be set up in the project intervention zone.



International NGO


Environmental Institute for Agricultural Research



Consultancy Study Bureau