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Increasing cotton yields in Burkina Faso

Advisory Services


In the past, abundant rainfall from May to September provided cotton farmers in Burkina Faso with all the water their seedlings needed to grow. But in recent decades, climate change has made weather patterns increasingly unpredictable. Without even the most basic irrigation infrastructure, cotton farmers are at the mercy of mother nature. It is little wonder why cotton farmers in Burkina Faso name a shortage of water as one of their biggest worries. Without reliable and adequate water supply, crops suffer low yields, diminished quality, and farmers may have little means to feed their families, pay for unexpected medical expenses, or meet their children’s school fees.


Through access to training in better soil and water management practices and inexpensive irrigation infrastructure, cotton farmers will have a better chance at increasing their cotton yields this season. This opportunity is, in part the result of a unique partnership between IFC, GAFSP and the International Development Association (IDA) with La Société Burkinabè des fibres textiles (SOFITEX), the largest buyer of raw cotton in Burkina Faso. Together, they will train 1,000 cotton farmers on the use, operation, and maintenance of irrigation equipment, as well as in better agricultural practices for soil and water management.

In addition to farmer training, IFC, IDA, and SOFITEX will work together to support farmer investments in building stone contour lines to prevent erosion, small reservoirs for rainwater capture and storage, and equipment to pump and distribute water in their farms. Farmers will also receive help in accessing the financing they will need to make these investments possible.

Project Status



  • Burkina Faso



Focus area

  • Climate Change
  • Fragility

Supervising entity

  • IFC
burkina faso
Impact Story

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Once completed, this project is expected to improve farmer yield by up to 30% and to increase the area of farmland with improved water management across Burkina Faso by 3,000 hectors, and support US$5.3 million in lending for irrigation investments by smallholder cotton farmers.