By Daniel Kandy

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing quality seeds to 100,000 vulnerable farmers in an effort to improve food security in Burkina Faso. Much of the country lies within the Sahel, a biogeographic zone that runs between the Sahara Desert to the north and the savannahs to the south. The region is often hit by drought, decreasing food security in the country. The FAO’s efforts are in response to a food crisis that has left millions of people at risk of hunger.

The FAO projects that the provision of seeds will improve food production for 860,000 rural households, or 6 million people. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

The European Union pledged €1 billion to aid countries facing food security threats and has partnered with the FAO to develop projects. Burkina Faso is one of 50 priority countries to receive aid, along with other sub-Saharan nations such as Zimbabwe and Mali. The FAO projects that the provision of seeds will improve food production for 860,000 rural households, or 6 million people. The agency is also supporting some 900 seed producers in irrigated areas of southern Burkina Faso to help them increase revenues while contributing to improving food security in the rest of the country.

Burkina Faso stands to have its agricultural productivity decline dramatically with the effects of climate change , particularly the reduction in rainfall in a region that is already drought-prone. While the efforts of the FAO and European Union may help to increase regional food security, there is also a broader need to attain the Millennium Development Goals, another UN endeavor that promises long-term fixes for the pressing issue of food security.

Daniel Kandy is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.

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