Institutions, Technology Adoption and Agricultural Development in Burkina Faso

Estelle Koussoubé

Juin 2015

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sous la direction de Marc Raffinot

Increasing agricultural productivity and fostering agricultural development are necessary for agriculture to play an effective role in food security and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa. The literature has identified several barriers to agricultural development, including environmental constraints, institutional constraints, as well as resource constraints. However, how to promote agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa remains a challenging issue. This dissertation addresses three important issues relating to agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly in Burkina Faso. The dissertation considers how institutions and policies can have an impact on the constraints faced by individual farmers and households, and how to foster the emergence of institutions that will work for agricultural development. The first chapter of this dissertation investigates the role of norms and institutions in the formation of farmer organizations, and women’s participation in farmer organizations. The findings indicate that female farmers are less likely to participate in farmer organizations. The results suggest that the relatively low level of female participation in farmer organizations is explained by women’s lack of resources including information as well as a lack of incentives to participate. The second chapter studies the emergence conditions of land markets in the Hauts-Bassins region Burkina’s cotton zone. The chapter’s findings highlight the equalizing role of land markets in this region. Land markets enable migrants to gain access to land in this region. Last, the third chapter of this dissertation seeks to understand the relative, apparent low use of chemical fertilizers by farmers. The low uptake of chemical fertilizers might have been driven by factors other than profitability, including a lack of access to fertilizers and credit. Building on the theoretical literature in economics as well as the literature in other social sciences, and on various datasets, this dissertation contributes to enhancing the overall understanding of the issues faced by farmers in Sub-Saharan African countries and points towards further research in the economics of agricultural development as well as in the general economic literature. 


Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, Burkina Faso, Agricultural Productivity, Gender, Norms, Farmer organizations, Land markets, Agricultural technology.

Mots-clés: Afrique subsaharienne, Burkina Faso, Productivité agricole, Genre, Normes, Organisations agricoles, Marchés fonciers ruraux, Technologie agricole.