Choosing the right food outlet to eat better: a communication campaign for Burkina Faso

A communication campaign for chicken consumers by the ‘Urban Food Markets in Africa – incentivizing food safety using a pull-push approach’ research project—led by the International livestock Research Institute (ILRI)—was launched in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso one of the project countries, on 24 March 2022. The campaign was launched with the slogan ‘Choosing the right food outlet to eat better’, at the Royal Beach Hotel.

The poultry sector plays a major role in the socio-economic development of Burkina Faso. It is among the country’s most dynamic sectors. The value of poultry production in 2011 was estimated at over XOF 85 billion (USD 140 million), representing about 6% of the country’s agricultural gross domestic product (GDP). The traditional poultry subsector represents more than 98% of the value of poultry traded. Of this value, 46.4% arises from producers, 24% from processors (street grillers/roasters), while the rest is shared among the other actors in the value chain including collectors, exporters, retailers and feather processors. Chickens are widely consumed in Burkina Faso and exported to neighbouring countries. Most consumers, some high-end hotels, and expatriates, prefer traditionally-produced poultry for its flavour which is often associated to its extensive production methods with less medical inputs such as drugs. Chicken consumption outside the home is significantly higher than home consumption. 

As a preliminary step, the Pull-Push project carried out an assessment of practices of stakeholders along the poultry and vegetable value chains. The study used desk review and qualitative research including focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Respondents comprised poultry and vegetable producers, retailers, consumers, input suppliers, public veterinary services and other regulators of the food chain. Issues documented  included food safety, sanitary quality and hygiene of products consumed in the city of Ouagadougou. The research also identified risky practices and products in terms of consumer food safety. 

The campaign is then based on the assessment that showed chicken consumers in Burkina Faso may be at risk of foodborne illnesses such as diarrhoea due to unsafe practices including 

inappropriate transportation of live chicken and poor hygiene during slaughtering ; poor storage of chicken carcasses at retail and consumption outlets, amongst others.

ILRI and partners (University Joseph-Kizerbo of Ouagadougou, University of Wageningen, University of Florida, Institut de Recherche en Sciences Appliquées et Technologies and World Vegetable Center) are carrying out more studies to quantify these risks. Identified risks have been translated into a communication campaign for consumers; and training modules are being developed for actors in the chicken sector. The consumer campaign aims at supporting chicken consumers in making the right choices in their buying behaviour and/or poultry preparation practices through dissemination of good hygienic practices using digital channels.

All sectors of food safety regulation in Burkina Faso, including representatives from the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock attended the launch.

This public communication campaign will be deployed in Ouagadougou from May 2022 for a duration of nine months.

Read more: Value chain assessment of animal-source foods and vegetables in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso–Considering food safety, quality and hygiene perceptions and practices

Photo: Roadside market: Selling farm produce to travelers on the road to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR).