Burkina Faso’s Farmers Successful in Reclaiming Land, Study Says

Burkina Faso farmers have reclaimed land once thought too infertile to use for agriculture, as nations elsewhere struggle with land degradation, the Overseas Development Institute said.

Farmers in the West African nation have reclaimed as many as 300,000 hectares (742,000 acres) for crop planting through sustainable farming methods, the London-based policy group said in a study published yesterday.

“Burkina Faso has achieved striking progress,” Amanda Lenhardt, a co-author of the study, told reporters in the capital, Ouagadougou, yesterday.

The methods, encouraged by the government and non-governmental organizations since the 1970s, include techniques to conserve groundwater and soil nutrients. The $12 billion economy is projected to expand 6.8 percent this year and growth may be higher if rains are good, the International Monetary Fund said on March 26.

Agriculture employs 85 percent of the population, according to the ODI report. Cotton is the country’s main agricultural export crop.

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