European partnership to support for Burkina Faso cotton farming

The 2017/’18 cotton farming season in Burkina Faso will be financed by a €65 million facility brought into being by an agreement between 3 European financial institutions.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide €28.5 million while French banks Société Générale and BNP Paribas will invest €28.5 and €10 million respectively.

Burkinabe cotton dealer Société Burkinabè des Fibres Textiles (SOFITEX) will be the implementing partner, charged with buying cotton from farmers, ginning, and transporting it to international markets through the sea ports of Cotonou, Lome and Abidjan.

The money will also be used to finance the construction and maintenance of cotton transit and storage systems like containers and warehouses in order to reduce post-harvest losses.

IFC Agribusiness Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Samuel Dzotefe said their partnership with SOFITEX, Société Générale and BNP Paribas would improve cotton production in Burkina Faso.

“Cotton provides for the livelihood of more than 3 million Burkinabè, and is the country’s second largest source of foreign currency. This financing is part of a broader effort, involving investment and advisory services to support a sector that is vital for Burkina Faso’s economic growth,” he said.

The IFC, BNP Paribas and Société Générale have been involved in financing the cotton farming sector in Burkina Faso since 2015.


Cotton farmers in Burkina Faso have started to benefit from the Smallholder Water Management and Irrigation Program, a partnership that was formed between the World Bank and SOFITEX in November 2016.

The programme is aimed at helping SOFITEX out-grower farmers improve soil management through the use of anti-erosion stone contour lines. The farmers are taught how to harness scarce water resources by collecting rainwater to supplement irrigation supplies.
Farmers are also learning techniques to improve cotton yields and increase farm revenues. Apart from cotton farming, the IFC is supporting several other agriculture projects to encourage the practice of climate smart agriculture throughout the Sahel region.

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