Burkina Faso, (named Upper Volta until 1984) is a landlocked country that spans across the semiarid Sahel and the more humid Sudan bioclimatic zone. Burkina Faso is culturally rich, but limited in its endowment of natural resources. As in many other countries in the region, rural-to-urban migration has spurred the growth of urban areas. However, agriculture still accounts for 32 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 80 percent of the population. In the north, where rainfall averages 300–400 mm per year and is limited to a short wet season, animal husbandry is the main livelihood. Rainfall is somewhat higher across the Central Plateau, where agriculture has been the dominant activity for centuries. Cotton is the main cash crop; however, livestock production is also an important source of income. In order to reduce its vulnerability to droughts and water shortages, Burkina Faso has built many dams and levees along major rivers and their tributaries. These reservoirs meet the water needs of the urban population and provide for irrigation of horticultural crops during the dry season, contributing to the country’s agricultural diversity. In addition, Burkina Faso has successfully attracted foreign investments and has experienced a rise in gold prospecting and production.  With rapid population growth (over 3 percent per year), Burkina Faso faces major challenges in reaching a balance between preserving its natural resources and feeding its growing population. Despite explosive cropland expansion into remaining natural landscapes, recent successes in land management and increased agricultural productivity are encouraging.