May 23, 2019 – A team of local PEP researchers held a national conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to discuss their findings on how agricultural subsidies for women in Burkina Faso contribute to food security and economic growth.
Almost 50 stakeholders, including ministry representatives, attended the conference where the research team presented the findings and policy recommendations from their study on Agricultural policies, women’s employment and income in Burkina Faso, selected under the PAGE II initiative in 2017.
Presenting the issue, Minata Souratié, the research team leader, said: “Around 83% of women in Burkina Faso work in the agricultural sector and produce 75% of the country’s food. However, women’s income in this sector is insignificant compared to that of men.”
The research team explained how improving women’s access to agricultural inputs (such as land, equipment and fertilizer) through women-specific subsidies can improve women’s well-being while increasing total agricultural production. These types of policies can also increase household revenues, improve food security, and contribute to national economic growth. Find out more about the team’s research methods, findings, and policy recommendations in PEP Policy Brief 195 (in French).
A variety of stakeholders discussed the team’s findings and recommendations, including representatives of various departments within the Ministry of Women, National Solidarity, Family and Humanitarian Action (MFSNFAH - Ministère de la femme, de la solidarité nationale, de la famille et de l'action humanitaire) and within the Ministry of Agriculture and Hydro-agricultural Installations (MAAH - Ministère de l’agriculture et des aménagements hydro-agricoles).
Jacques Koala, representing the MFSNFAH, stated that the policy implications of the team’s findings are useful for helping the government improve the lives of women, one of its particular goals. Furthermore, he mentioned the team’s finding that “reserving 30% of agricultural land for use by women is beneficial to households as well as women” encourages the government to continue with its policy under which 46% of newly developed land is used by women.
Jérémie Zinsonni, representing the Directorate for the Promotion of the Rural Economy at the MAAH, said that the team’s findings are particularly pertinent given the lack of access women have to productive resources. Similarly, Odile Mande, representing the Directorate of Land, Training and Rural Organisation at the MAAH, was overjoyed to learn that women’s access to productive resources improves food security and living conditions.
A political analyst at the Burkina Faso Institute of the Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA), Jeanne d’Arc Coulibaly said that the team’s findings provide a foundation upon which civil society stakeholders and NGOs can build to advocate for women’s interests.
Several policymakers also suggested that the team’s institution, the Economics and Management Sciences Training and Research Unit at the University of Ouaga II, should share future research with the ministries so that policymakers may use the findings to inform policy and improve the lives of the population.
Journalists from the national (monthly) newspaper L’Evénement, and the Internet news provider LeFaso.netpublished reports from the conference, bringing the team’s findings to a wider audience.
The research team organized the event with support from PEP and in collaboration with the Laboratoire d'Analyse Quantitative Appliquée au Développement du Sahel (LAQAD-S) at the Université Ouaga II.