Strengthening the access of farmers’ organisations to institutional markets in Burkina Faso

Strengthening the access of farmers’ organisations to institutional markets in Burkina Faso

Rikolto's focus in view of creating a leverage effect that new institutional market access can have for family farmers' organisations.

Since 2016, the National Union of Rice Producers of Burkina (UNPRB) has successfully set out to conquer the institutional rice markets launched by the government. They were able to deliver rice to school canteens across the country. Through this new project, Rikolto supports the Union by reinforcing the achievements of this experience and by diversifying its outlets by seeking new institutional markets. Rikolto's focus on these topics is in view of the leverage effect that these can have on market access for family farmers' organisations.


In 2016, the UNPRB, through advocacy, arranged with the Ministry of National Education and Literacy (MENA) an institutional market contract for the supply of 6,900 tonnes of rice produced in Burkina Faso. This first contract made it possible to deliver these foodstuffs to school canteens in three (3) regions of Burkina Faso (Boucle du Mouhoun, Centre-East and Centre-Nord) for the 2016 - 2017 school year. This made it possible to buy rice (white, husked and parboiled) at more profitable prices for producers.

This successful institutional purchasing, carried out by a national farmers' organisation, strongly impressed and inspired the Burkinabè government. The government decided to continue with institutional purchases through two strong acts: (a) As an extension of the experience with the UNPRB, the government made the municipalities (rural and urban) responsible for institutional purchases of foodstuffs for the benefit of school canteens in their district. (b) The government, through the Prime Minister’s Office, issued Order No. 2017-002 / PM / CAB of 31 January 2017 on the purchase of local food products by state structures as part of their supply. Through this decree, the government invites all governmental structures (school canteens, National Centre for University Works (CENOU), Hospitals, military barracks, detention and correctional facilities, etc.) to favour local products including rice as part of their institutional purchases. However, this decree is taken as a precautionary and temporary measure. In fact, it is only a provisional measure pending a final, lasting decree.

Based on the findings of the initial experience with the MENA, the UNPRB now carries out institutional purchases with six (6) rural municipalities for the 2017-2018 school year. For 2019-2020, 26 municipalities were involved.

UNPRB has a processing unit with a capacity of 40 tonnes / day located in Dédougou, in the west of the country. The management of this unit has been entrusted to an independent technical team. The union wants to promote that processing unit within its institutional purchases.

The ambition of the UNPRB is to improve its services in order to secure this institutional market (maintain its market share and, better still, increase it) as it was liberalised by the decision to transfer its management to the municipalities.

This project has been developed to support the efforts of this challenge. This project aims to help reinforce the access of farmers' organisations to this institutional market for school canteens and to better diversify it. The proposed action is part of the 2017-2021 programme to support the competitiveness of rice in West Africa, implemented by Rikolto in Burkina Faso. The intervention aims to support actors in the formalisation / sustainability of institutional purchases.


To achieve its ambitions, the UNPRB will have to meet the following challenges:

  • Improving the quality of the supplied rice as well as the delivery times: the results of the first operation revealed the poor quality of certain stocks of rice: breaking rate greater than 25%, stocks containing too many impurities. More rigorous quality control would have set aside 40 to 45% of the delivered stocks.

  • Ensuring the regular supply of its new husking unit with quality threshed, unmilled rice (paddy). The husking unit separates the outer layer (the husk) from the rice.

  • Convincing the government to take a more lasting measure: the UNPRB appreciates the adoption by the Burkinabè government of a decree aiming to favour locally produced rice in institutional purchases. But, along with all other players, it regrets the fact that this measure is only being taken on a provisional basis.

  • Maintaining or, even better, increasing its share of the institutional market: with the transfer of supply management from schools to municipalities, farmers’ organisations find themselves in a situation of competition with actors who are much better equipped than they are. Traders, rice importers, and even actors who do not work in agricultural value chains want to take advantage of the market opportunity. There is a risk of losing the market share that was obtained by farmers’ organisations. The result was there indeed. Despite accounting for 7,000 tonnes in 2016-2017, the UNPRB was only able to supply around 4,000 tonnes in 2017-2018 with the municipalities. The first contract with the MENA was to supply 21,000 tonnes but it is the farmers’ organisation who, given its capacities, preferred to reduce the contract volume to 7,000 tonnes.

  • Structuring the offer to be able to negotiate better.

  • Strengthening the cooking capacities of consumers targeted by institutional purchases: At the school level, the lack of mastery of local rice cooking techniques became apparent. The UNPRB wants the market not to be limited to primary schools only, but to be able to reach military barracks, universities, hospitals, etc. who are even more demanding than schoolchildren.


  • Development of an inclusive business model for the regular supply of paddy to the UNPRB husking unit by creating awareness with farmers to build an inclusive business model. Support for increased productivity and for the creation of a traceability system that facilitates quality control.

  • Digitisation for control of statistics of the union and its members (data collection and monitoring of stocks): this involves supporting the UNPRB to create a statistical database on the production of its members. This includes better control of its statistics on stocks produced, in order to better organise the collection and supply of paddy to its unit and its customers.

  • Strengthening of the union's negotiating capacities with the municipalities to guarantee preserving the market at this level.

  • Support from the union in its advocacy so that the measure is taken permanently.

  • Capacity building for cooks in large households for cooking Burkina rice.

Expected Results

  • The UNPRB's offer will be better structured: the organisation has control of the statistics of its members.

  • The UNPRB's market share will have increased from 6 to 30 municipalities engaged in institutional purchases.

  • 20,000 tonnes of rice will have been delivered under contract by the farmers' organisation.

  • The union will have recorded a rejection rate of delivered stocks of only 5%.

  • The government will have created an administrative act perpetuating the institutional purchase of local rice from farmers’ organisations.

  • A guide to facilitate farmers’ organisations’ access to institutional purchases will be available.

Target Groups

The project will benefit:

  • 20,000 member farmers that are involved.

  • 30 organisers of semi-industrial husking units.

  • 570 parboilers who are members of the main parboilers' cooperatives in the rice-growing plains.

  • 650,000 students from 2,750 schools in the targeted municipalities.

Areas of intervention

  • Country: Burkina Faso

  • Region: Rice-growing areas of Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Hauts Bassins, Centre East and Centre North

Project duration

36 months: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021.

UNPRB (National Union of Rice Producers of Burkina)

UNPRB (National Union of Rice Producers of Burkina)

Contact person: OUEDRAOGO Maïmouna Tel: +226 70 23 96 85 Email:;

Michel Tougma, Programme manager

Email: michel.tougma [at]

Phone : Bur: +226 25 37 52 98; Cel: + 226 70 74 57 18