When “agro businessmen” drive away traditional producers

Competition for land in the rural areas is taking a disturbing turn in Burkina Faso. Having been spared this phenomenon up until recently, the country now has to face a situation which can destabilise social peace. At the origin of the problem is the government’s policy of encouraging agro businessmen. The state believes that these new players are in a better position to help the country achieve food security.

The new policy ignores the rights of landless farmers. Before then, the law on land use, the RAF 1984, passed under Thomas Sankara’s revolution encouraged farmers who had the possibility of becoming property owners, through occupying and continually putting to productive use rural land. The new law on land use in the rural areas which was passed in 2008 left farmers landless. This investigation conducted by Idrissa Barry in one of Burkina Faso’s regions, which still has lands suitable for agriculture depicts the tragic situation of the farmers left to their fate. The investigation lasted from January to September, 2011. It all happened in the ZIRO region, about 100 kilometres south of Ouagadougou, the country’s political capital.

By Idrissa Barry

Published December 10, 2011 in L’Evénement.

Read the articles in French  “Un lopin de terre sème la discorde dans la commune” et “Quand les agrobusiness chassent les producteurs tradionnels