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Burkina Faso Cotton

Increasing cotton yields in Burkina Faso

Advisory Services


About the Project

In the past, regular rainfall from May to September provided cotton farmers in Burkina Faso with the water their crops need to grow. But in recent decades, climate change has made weather patterns increasingly unpredictable. Since cotton in Burkina Faso is rain-fed, without basic irrigation infrastructure, cotton farmers are at the mercy of mother nature. Cotton farmers in Burkina Faso name a shortage of water as one of their biggest worries: Without reliable and adequate water supply, crops suffer from low yields and diminished quality, leaving farmers unable to feed their families, pay for unexpected medical expenses, or afford their children’s school fees.

Through access to training in better soil and water management practices and supplemental irrigation infrastructure, cotton farmers have a better chance at increasing their cotton yields. This opportunity is, in part, the result of a unique partnership between IFC, GAFSP, the International Development Association (IDA), and the Global Partnership for Results-Based Approaches (GPRBA) with La Société Burkinabè des fibres textiles (SOFITEX), the largest buyer of raw cotton in Burkina Faso. Together, they have trained more 1,600 cotton farmers on the use, operation, and maintenance of supplemental irrigation, as well as in better practices for soil and water management.

In addition to farmer training, IFC, IDA, GPRBA, and SOFITEX have helped farmers access financing for 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. 

Results and impact:

•    1631 Farmers trained
•    301 SOFITEX trainers trained
•    339 rainwater harvesting ponds built for supplementary irrigation
•    238 farmers accessed formal credit
•    450 hectares of land under improved management 
•    23% increase in cotton yields
•    $1.3 million in loans disbursed to farmers for investment in supplemental irrigation
•    SOFITEX has included climate-smart land management for erosion prevention in its five-year Cotton Production Plan


  • Burkina Faso

Project Status




Supervising entity

  • IFC
burkina faso
Impact Story

Better farming means better lives for cotton farmers in Burkina Faso

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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.