- Burkina Faso is predicted a "very good food security outlook" for 2004. In all parts of the country, harvests are good and households have good access to staple foods and cash revenues. Also grazing conditions have been good.
The latest Burkina Faso report of the US agency Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS) is unusually positive on the food security situation and outlook in the country. 2004 should prove a good year for all the population of the poverty-ridden Sahelian country.
- The household food security situation is good in all zones of the country, the FEWS report says. "There is good national grain availability, both from traders as well as at the on-farm level, where farmers have large grain inventories."
Good harvests of tuber crops in the far southern reaches of the country are strengthening the availability of farm produce and are even giving Burkinabe consumers more choices.
The wide availability of grain and tuber crops has been driving food prices steadily downwards, facilitating food access for non-grain-producing households who have to purchase supplies on local markets, FEWS reports. Furthermore, household income levels in rural areas are improving, thanks to sales of vegetables, animals, cash crops and even grain crops.
- The availability of water, pasture, hay and stockpiled artificial fodder should mean good feeding conditions for the nation's animal population for the remainder of the dry season, FEWS further reports from Burkina Faso.
In addition to their year-round livestock-raising activities, residents of rural areas keep themselves busy by growing vegetables and irrigated crops - rice, maize and cowpeas. "This year's harvests of off-season crops are extremely promising, given the good availability of water," he US agency comments. Prices for vegetable crops are still very high.
- Rural households get their food supplies from their own on-farm inventories and can easily afford to eat as many meals as they wish, FEWS reports. "Urban households also have good food access with the saturation of domestic grain markets. Large flows of food supplies between markets throughout the country continue to drive prices down."
Burkinabe officials reportedly only are concerned by the falling prices for farm produce, "which are forcing farmers to sell large volumes of grain in order to meet other essential needs." Finally, they fear farmers may mismanage their new found wealth, not preparing for future difficult times.
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