Improved Harvests in Banwa Despite Challenges, Courtesy of Security Patrols

Solenzo – The Banwa province in Burkina Faso has witnessed a good harvest season this year, thanks to the effective patrols by the Fighting Forces which have enhanced security in the region. This positive agricultural outcome was confirmed by the Provincial Director in charge of Agriculture, Madou Coulibaly.

According to Burkina Information Agency, despite a surplus rainfall situation during the third quarter causing flooding of 1,500 hectares of crops, the region has successfully cultivated significant areas for cereals, cash crops, and food crops.

The 2023-2024 agricultural campaign saw plantings of 105,317.9 hectares for cereals, 79,227.9 hectares of cash crops, and 11,284.5 hectares of food crops. Despite challenges including a late campaign start and ongoing security concerns, the overall achievement rate of the province was reported at 81.03%. AIB’s visit to the fields on Thursday, November 9, 2023, revealed the positive impact of these efforts.

In the farming hamlet of Wara, located 7 km from Solenzo, farmers like Elvis Coulibaly expressed gratitude for the harvests they could secure due to the patrols. Coulibaly reported a successful yield of millet and soya. However, not all farmers were as fortunate. Ousmane Rabo, an internally displaced person from Solenzo, could not tend to his field regularly due to security issues but managed to harvest corn and sorghum.

Arsène Coulibaly, another local farmer, reported a successful rice harvest, employing the services of five internally displaced women for the task. He anticipates a yield of more than 100 bags of rice from his 2 hectares of cultivation. The farmers of the villages of Kiè, Bayé, Bonza, and surrounding areas faced challenges in sowing and harvesting due to evacuation orders and terrorist threats, yet many have managed to harvest their crops.

The difficulty in transporting these crops to safer locations like Solenzo, due to ongoing terrorist threats, remains a significant concern for the farmers. The situation in Banwa highlights the resilience of the agricultural community amid challenging circumstances and the crucial role of security measures in ensuring successful agricultural activities.