Grain storage and access to credit – Burkina Faso
In the dry season, grain is very scarce, which pushes up the price. Small-scale farmers do not have secure warehouses to store their harvest for the dry season. Furthermore, they have virtually no access to credit.
The support of AJF encompasses a one-time donation for the construction of a warehouse, the provision of a fund for extending loans and increasing and improving the knowledge to operate a warrantage system. Warrantage, a French word commonly used in West Africa, is an inventory credit system (in English: a warehouse receipt system), in which farmers keep part of their harvest in secure warehouses as collateral for credit.
Because the harvest can be stored safely, farmers can choose to sell it at a later time, when the market price is better. This directly leads to income improvement. Because of the created access to credit, this system also stimulates self-reliance and entrepreneurship. The credit can be used for acute household needs, for agricultural investments or for other income generating activities such as horticulture and apiculture.
Warrantage increases food security in several manners: the grain is available for a longer period of time and the higher income allows farmers to buy other foodstuffs. In this area, a lot has been invested in reducing illiteracy in the past. Therefore it is anticipated that the farmers concerned will be well capable of managing the warrantage system.