It is known that there are a total of 3 flourmills in Burkina Faso. While two of these mills make flour production in amounts ranging from 500 to 1.000 per month, the other one produces 100 thousand tons of flour per year, covering 75 percent of the country's flour needs. The number of other grain-based plants is estimated to be 35-40. It is also estimated that there are approximately 18 grain-processing plants in Cameroon. Besides, the number of plants producing pasta and biscuits, and processing grain is known to be around 60.
Located in the west coast of Africa with no coast, Burkina Faso has remained as a colony of France for many years, and gained independence in 1960. Following the declaration of independence, the country has witnessed many political coup d’états. Only 29 percent of 18.3 million of Burkina Faso’s total population lives in the city. An arid climate dominates the country, which leads to very little rain throughout the year.
Located in west central Africa and surrounded by neighboring countries such as Nigeria, Chad and Congo, Cameroon’s capital is Yaounde. Having gained its independence from France in 1960, Cameroon has a tropical climate and 53 percent of a total of 23 million populations live in cities. Cameroon is under the influence of tropical climate in general terms, and is one of the most productive countries in terms of natural resources and agricultural products in Sub-Saharan Africa.
GENERAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
One of the world's poorest countries, Burkina Faso is considered as highly indebted poor country (HIPC) with per capita income of $ 582. According to "Human Development Index 2013" report, Burkina Faso is ranked 181st among 187 countries. According 2012 data, gross domestic product is estimated at 26.51 billion dollars in accordance with the purchasing power parity in the country, and based on these values, per capita income stands at $ 1,500.
Burkina Faso manages relations that aim to strengthen macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty by increasing real GDP growth in conjunction with the IMF. These aims are supported by increasing growth and sustainable development strategy (SCADD). The Burkina Faso’s government is expected to eventually make progress with long planned privatization programs. With just a few natural resources, Burkina Faso’s industrial power is also weak. The agricultural sector, which constitutes 34% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is the main livelihood of more than 80% of the population. Sectors that played role in Burkina Faso’s economy are gold industry, mobile communications and banking.
Unlike many other African countries, Cameroon has adopted liberal economy for many years. Cameroon's GDP stands at about 23 billion dollars. The income per capita in accordance with purchasing power parity is around 2,200 dollar. Approximately 70% of the population lives off agricultural activities.
The most important industrial activity in the country is aluminum production. Another important economic activity in the country is mining. In tarnation companies’ exploration, management and production activities in the fields of bauxite, cobalt, iron ore, gold and natural gas as well as, primary product, petroleum are increasing rapidly. There is no heavy industry in the country. The exported products are domestically produced foodstuffs, coffee, cocoa, oil and wood products. Besides, Cameroon's construction sector is growing rapidly thanks to the public investments in transport infrastructure, agriculture, health and education fields. As for the services sector, telecommunications and transport services are the most important activities.
It is aimed to accelerate economic growth, generate new job opportunities and reduce poverty by means of policy being implemented in the country. In order to achieve these objectives, it is necessary to increase the government investment in infrastructure, improve the access of the private sector to the financial resources, and in order to improve the human resources, it is planned to increase spending on the fields of education and health.
THE PLACE AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is one of the most important sources of livelihood in Burkina Faso. 35% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Approximately 90 % of the country's population plants agricultural products for personal consumption and use. The majority of these products cultivated consists of millet, corn, sorghum and rice. In addition to these products in the southern part of the country, cassava, sweet potatoes and sugar cane plantation is also performed. With a new project launched in 2005, wheat plantation started as well. With this project, it is aimed to reduce long-term dependence on foreign countries, and to start wheat exports in the long run. The most important product that is conventionally produced is cotton; however, it is severely affected by the price fluctuations. In the last 20 years, due to drought and the drop in agricultural production, productivity has not been increasing at the same rate as population growth. Among certain products produced in the country, there are peanut, sesame, sorghum, corn, rice, and live animals. Farming is one of the most important sources of income in Agriculture Sector. Peanut and cotton are the leading products that are exported by Burkina Faso.
Unfavorable weather conditions experienced across the country can lead to difficulties in the cultivation of agricultural products, and collecting crops. Long drought periods that may occur in certain periods cause scarcity problems, especially in the northern parts.
Approximately 70% of the population of Cameroon lives off agricultural activities. Agricultural production is carried out mainly in order to meet the food needs, and to obtain export revenues. The country's economy is predominantly agricultural economy. The agricultural sector constitutes 42% of GDP and provides 70% of total employment. On the other hand, it provides 40% of export revenues. The main crops produced for export are cocoa, coffee, cotton, bananas and rubber. The level of exports of these products varies depending on developments in international markets and climatic conditions. In addition, the aging of existing trees negatively affects the production of cocoa, coffee and rubber. Despite an increase in food production in recent years, the transport infrastructure in poor condition, financing, inadequacies in access to new technologies are the main obstacles to the development of the sector. On the other hand, forestry activities are one of the most important sources of income. Timber industry is centered more upon around the Congo Basin Forests in the east of the country. Exports of wood and wood products come from oil after the second row.
GRAIN PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN BURKINA FASO
When US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS)’s data is examined, it is observed that Sorghum ranks highest in grain production in Burkina Faso. Between the seasons 2003/04 and 2014/15, approximately 1.3 million tons and 2 million tons of sorghum production was carried out on a yearly basis. Sorghum production in Burkina Faso reached up to 1.9 million tons in 2010/11 and declined to 1,5 million tons in the season of 2010/2011 and reincreased in the following season in a way that reached up to, the highest production amount, 1,924 million tons in the season of 2012/2013. In the season of 2013/14, sorghum production was 1.880 million tons and it was recorded at 1.836 million tons in the season of 2014/15.
Sorghum consumption has also a leading position among other grain. Consumption amount, which goes parallel with production amount between 2003/04 and 2014/15, shows that Burkina Faso makes production solely to meet the domestic demand. Burkina Faso, whose basic foodstuffs are similar to those of West Africa’s, returned mainly to sorghum, millet and corn in consumption culture. As well as dished made out of boiled, cooked and crushed sorghum, sorghum dough that is cooked by being mixed with tomatoes, peppers and carrots, is one of the most prominent examples of consumer culture in this country.
The second most-produced grain after sorghum in Burkina Faso is millet. In the season of 2003/04, millet production exceeded 1.1 million tons from time to time and, fell below 1 million tons from time to time. In the seasons of 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15, production was at around 1 million tons. It is observed that the amount of production is equal to total consumption.
Third important grain produced in Burkina Faso is corn. Corn production stood at 666 thousand tons in the season of 2003/04, and increased to 1 million tons in the season of 2008/09. Having continued to rise in the following seasons, corn production reached up to 1.5 million tons in the season of 2013/14, and 1,4 million tons in the season of 2014/15. Corn consumption had a similar chart to the corn production. Running parallel with the production amount, corn consumption reached 1.7 million tons in the season of 2013/14, and stood at 1.4 million tons in the season of 2014/15.
Burkina Faso's rice production is also being increased. In the season of 2003/04, Burkina Faso produced 64 thousand tons of rice, and steadily increased this amount, producing 213 thousand tons of rice in the season of 2014/15. However, the amount of rice production is not sufficient to cover the amount of rice consumption. 200 thousand tons of rice consumption was recorded between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2006/07, and as of the season of 2010/11, it increased to over 400 thousand tons.
Very low quantities of wheat consumption were noted in Burkina Faso that makes no wheat production. According to gradually increasing wheat consumption chart, in the season of 2003/04, wheat consumption was at 49 thousand tons, which increased to 205 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15. This situation has led to the increasing amount of wheat imports by Burkina Faso.
GRAIN PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN CAMEROON
When USDA’s data is analyzed, it is observed the highest amount in Cameroon's grain production belongs to corn. In the country, in the season of 2003/04 and 2004/05, around 900 thousand tons of corn production was made, and this amount has increased to over 1 million tons as of the season of 2005/06. Increasing corn production reached up to 1.4 million tons in the season of 2008/09, and 1.7 million tons in the season of 2012/13. Corn production made in the seasons of 2013/14 and 2014/15 was around 1.6 million tons. Amount of corn consumption, increasing in parallel with the amount of corn production, has started to exceed the amount of production as of the season of 2011/12. Accordingly, Cameroon's corn consumption was recorded as 1.7 million tons in the seasons of 2013/14 and 2014/15.Sorghum is the second grain product, which Cameroon held the production of. Sorghum production showed continuous increase between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2014/15. Having increased from 574 thousand tons to 931 thousand tons between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2008/09, sorghum production exceeded 1.1 million tons as of the season of 2011/12, and recorded as 1,150 million tons in the season of 2014/15. Sorghum consumption is also observed to be almost the same as production amount.
Showing rise in rice production, Cameroon raised its production amount over 100 thousand tons as of the season of 2011/12. However, this amount is insufficient to meet the amount of consumption. Cameroon, which consumed 305 thousand tons of rice in the season of 2003/04, has increased this amount steadily and reached 640 thousand tons in the season of 2012/13. Cameroon's rice consumption was recorded as 722 thousand tons in the season of 2013/14, and 653 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15.Just like Burkina Faso, in Cameroon, there is wheat production. However, Cameroon, which made wheat production of over 500 thousand tons between the seasons of 2010/11 and 2014/15, is going to import wheat to meet domestic demand. The production and consumption of corn has exceeded 90 thousand tons between the seasons of 2011/12 and 2014/15.
GRAIN TRADE IN BURKINA FASO
According to USDA’s data, Burkina Faso, whose amount of grain production is only sufficient to meet domestic demand, and which even conducts import activities for wheat demand, is, therefore, does not export grain. Rice is the most imported product by Burkina Faso, which makes grain trade through import. Burkina Faso imported less than 200 thousand tons of rice between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2008/09, and increased this amount over 200 thousand tons as of the season of 2009/10. Rice import made in the season of 2013/14 is at 280 thousand tons, while it is recorded as 275 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15. Burkina Faso, which does not make wheat production, tries to meet the domestic demand by wheat import. Therefore, the amount of wheat import is the same as the amount of consumption. With a continuously increasing amount of wheat imports, Burkina Faso made wheat import of 187 thousand tons in the season of 2013/14, and 205 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15.
GRAIN TRADE IN CAMEROON
As in Burkina Faso, grain production in Cameroon is at a level that could only meet domestic demand, and there is no production of some certain grain, grain trade is made only through imports. Wheat is the most imported grain by Cameroon. Having made 246 thousand and 319 thousand tons of wheat imports between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2007/08, Cameroon has increased this amount in the following seasons, and increased the amount of imports over 400 thousand tons in the seasons of 2008/09 and 2009/10. Wheat imports, which exceeded 500 thousand tons as of the season of 2010/2011, was recorded as 655 thousand tons in the season of 2013/14 and 675 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15.
Another important import product is rice. Even though rice imports decreased and increased from time to time between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2010/11, it was around 300 thousand tons and this amount exceeded 400 thousand tons as of the season of 2011/12. The amount of rice import was recorded as 600 thousand tons in the season of 2013/14, and 525 thousand tons in the season of 2014/15.Another grain product imported by Cameroon is corn. However, corn import is so little that it is almost non-existing. The highest import volume between the seasons of 2003/04 and 2014/15 was achieved in the season of 2004/05 with 46 thousand tons. The amount of corn import made in the season of 2014/15 was recorded as 5 thousand tons.
In Burkina Faso, which has similar eating habits with many Western African Countries, it is known there are a total of three flourmills. Two of those mills make flour production in amounts ranging from 500 and 1000 tons per month, while the other makes flour production of 100 thousand tons in a way that covers 75 percent of the country 's needs. The mill in question also makes sales to bakeries for the production of bread and flour product, restaurants, and hotels. The number of other grain-based facilities in the country is estimated to be around 35-40.
In Cameroon, it is estimated that there are about 18 grain-processing plants. Plants producing pasta and biscuits, processing pulses are known to be around 60. Cameroon does not make wheat production. Therefore it is known that wheat import is made in order to meet the needs in the country for wheat to be used in bread and bakery products. As well as wheat, various pulses and corn are processed into flour and are being used in traditional Cameroon cuisine.