DIRECTOR-GENERAL'S CONSULTATIVE FRAMEWORK MECHANISM ON COTTON
COTTON RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME
FOR THE SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY OF THE SECTOR
Communication from Burkina Faso
The following communication, dated 3 May 2021, is being circulated at the request of the delegation of Burkina Faso.
The Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso is submitting the project below, prepared by the Government of Burkina Faso, with a view to receiving technical and financial assistance from the cotton sector development partners in the framework of the Director-General's Consultative Framework Mechanism on Cotton.
1 TITLE: COTTON RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME FOR THE SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY OF THE SECTOR
1.1 CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION
1.1. The cotton sector in Burkina Faso provides income for approximately four million people and supports several other upstream and downstream economic sectors. It accounts for more than 4% of GDP and more than 28% of the country's agricultural GDP. However, this contribution is likely even higher, given a number of external factors and that cotton is a mainstay of other crops such as cereals. The sector's contribution to the economy should also include the monetary value of its provision of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the transport of seed cotton from the fields to the ginneries and of cotton lint to the ports. Cotton by-products, such as seeds, supply the oil and oil-cake processing industries. The quantity of fibre processed domestically by the weavers belonging to Filature du Sahel (FILSAH) gives added value to the cotton sector.
1.2. Nevertheless, the cotton sector is facing a number of challenges and constraints, including: (i) climate variability and change; (ii) low productivity of varieties in the field; (iii) mismatch between the fibre length and micronaire and current market demand; (iv) increasingly difficult control of certain pests due to a rise in resistance to pyrethroids (insecticides); (v) degradation and low fertility of soil; (vi) problems related to land tenure insecurity; (vii) limited farming equipment; (viii) high prices and poor traceability of inputs (fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides); (ix) adverse impacts of farming practices on the environment, and on human and animal health.
1.3. Despite the changes the cotton sector has undergone, its main actors have contributed to its development. The sector experienced, for example, periods of crisis in 1996 and 1998 in the form of pest resistance to insecticides, resulting in a drop in production and considerable strain on producer organizations. To deal with these crises, in 1998, the Regional Cotton Protection Programme for West Africa (PR‑PRAO) was created, later becoming the Regional Programme for Integrated Cotton Production in Africa (PR-PICA). Research on genetically modified cotton began in 2003, leading to the commercial production of Bt cotton from 2009. Production continued until 2015 when the company broke with Monsanto due to difficulties with the shortening of the Bt cotton fibre. The sector is now facing a further crisis with a drop in yields to around 700kg/ha, taking Burkina Faso from top producer in Africa in 2014-2015 to fourth in 2018-2019.
1.4. In response to the cotton sector's various crises, researchers have consistently exercised pragmatism by proposing appropriate solutions to actors' concerns. Over the same period, and with the Government's support, the National Scientific and Technical Research Centre (CNRST) has also adopted a capacity-building plan for research teams and organizations (human resources, infrastructure, equipment) aimed at putting the research programmes into operation.
1.5. To deal with the challenges and constraints, when reviving cotton production it will be necessary to draw on the expertise of the CNRST (Institute for the Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA), Institute for Research in Applied Science and Technology (IRSAT), Health Science Research Institute (IRSS)), and that of universities and other competent bodies under, for example, the ministries for agriculture, health, the environment and trade ministries.
1.6. Most of all, cotton research requires capacity-building in terms of infrastructure, logistics and techniques, to support the recovery of cotton production.
 In French only.