Burkina Faso

Regulatory status

  • Burkina Faso signed the Cartagena Protocol in May 2000 and ratified it in August 2003.
  • 2004 : Establishment of a National Biosafety Committee
  • 2004 : Adoption by the government of the Biosafety Guidelines for Biotechnology
  • 2005 : Establishment of the the National Biosafety Agency
  • 2006 : Passage of the Biosafety Law
  • December 2012 : Passage of a revised biosafety law after two years process
  • December 2012 : Ratification of the Nagoya Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
  • 7 years of consecutive commercial cultivation of Bt cotton (Bollgard II) until late 2015. In 2016, due to a shorter cotton fiber length issue, the cotton consortium decided to suspend Bt cotton cultivation across the country and to go back to conventional until the fiber length issue is resolved.
  • Currently the biosafety competent authority together with the scientific community are in a process of drafting a biosafety – biotechnology policy wich will state and govern the country official position. NEPAD – ABNE leadership has been approached to champion the process.
  • It is worth noting the formation in 2016 of civil society groups aiming to support biotechnology and advocate for its access as part of farmers’ right to benefit from improved seeds of their choice. This seems a unique development in Africa and was consecutive to the decision by the cotton companies to suspend the cultivation of Bt cotton.

Current R&D status

  • Cotton: confined field trial of stacked insect resistant and herbicide tolerant cotton are going on at the INERA Research stations. Data that have been collected and preliminary conclusions show promising benefits including a fiber length longer than Bollgard II and its conventional counterpart.
  • Cowpea: Confined field trials (CFT) for Bt cowpea has been experimented now for four years, the Maruca resistant gene is being introgressed into commercial varieties.
  • Maize: CFTs of insect resistant maize (Bt maize) and a stacked insect resistant and herbicide resistant maize (Bt X RRF) in 2016.
  • Transgenic mosquito: Application approved in 2016 for lab testing.