Burkina Faso is a low-income Sahelian country with limited natural resources. The country’s economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs almost 80% of the active population. However, production is insufficient to meet the needs of the entire nation. The difficulties are exacerbated by climate change – which often compromise a large part of the crops – by the limited availability of agricultural equipment and by the limited knowledge of production techniques, conservation and processing of products. Added to these are the growing insecurity, particularly in the north of the country, and the recent impact of the Covid19 pandemic.
The project will take place in Loumbila, a rural municipality of Burkina Faso located in the province of Oubritenga, which is part of the “Plateau Central” region: an area with strong agricultural production, where intensive crops have contributed to the degradation of the land, the horticulture is mainly carried out with the use of chemical fertilizers, often of low quality, rotation is not practiced extensively and there are few experiences of integration between agriculture, livestock and agrosilviculture.
To take full advantage of the land and produce healthy and quality food, small farmers should improve their technical knowledge and have the opportunity to experiment with different methods of cultivation from the conventional one.
Furthermore, part of the production is often sold for export because the individual farmer is unable to bring it to the market or is wasted because it is very perishable and there are no known techniques for processing, conservation or different use of the products.
The area is not directly affected by the humanitarian crisis but conveys it because of an estimated 50% decline in the cultivation of land in the affected areas and the consequent relocation of more than half a million citizens.
Added to this are the effects of the Covid19 pandemic: disruptions to the market, supply chain and trade are already limiting people’s access to sufficient, diversified and nutritious food sources.
Loumbila, Burkina Faso
The goal of the project is to strengthen the capacities of small local agricultural producers, thanks to training courses and the experimentation of agricultural techniques that refer to the principles of agroecology.
The proposal is in continuity with the previous interventions carried out by Mani Tese in Burkina Faso and in other countries.
Province of Oubritenga, municipality of Loumbilà,
238 members of the Nangblobzanga Union and 102 people for cattle nursery and breeding activities
- Strengthening of the experimental center for professional training in agroecology. The center will be upgraded with the installation of a 3 kW photovoltaic electrical system, which will allow lighting, machinery operation and water pumping, while the experimental field will be equipped with a drip irrigation system.
- Start of cattle breeding. This is the breeding of 20 oxen intended for fattening and the production of compost, essential for the fertilization of the land. Training is provided for this activity, which will benefit 2 members of each of the 17 groups affiliated to the Nanglobzanga Union.
- Development of agro-forestry. Creation of a nursery to promote the planting of trees in agricultural plots, and of a training course for 68 people. Trees strengthen the soils and in the long term guarantee the production of fruit, a fundamental component of a healthy and balanced diet. The project will propose fruit trees or trees that produce leaves useful for nutrition (such as papaya or moringa) suitable for both self-consumption and marketing, guaranteeing entry to the center for its economic sustainability.
- Traceability of agricultural production. Promotion of the quality certification of 30 agricultural producers: this is the first step to promote a healthy, nutritious and environmentally friendly food culture, both at a rural and urban level.
- Food education and experimentation of techniques for processing and preserving products for self-consumption. Realization of 3 training and information sessions in each of the 9 villages involved in the project, for about 90 people. These will be accompanied by days to raise awareness of the population on a larger scale (about 500 expected participants), with recreational activities and culinary exhibitions. More specific training will be reserved for 90 women leaders and 18 community agents, who will be able to experiment with some recipes while respecting both good nutritional practices and hygiene rules. 30 small local producers will deepen in 4 training sessions the diversification of productions and the maintenance of soil biodiversity.
- Creation of a network for the promotion and sale of agroecological products in the capital Ouagadougou for the promotion and sale (including at home) of local products at markets, supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants in the urban area, to be proposed as a healthier and more sustainable alternative , compared to imported products.
- Organization of the agroecology fair in Loumbilà as an opportunity to bring various visitors and local authorities closer to the topic. Problems relating to the environment, health and condition of women will also be addressed during the event.
- Activities in Italy. A theoretical-practical course on agroecology and food consumption is planned in Mestre: divided into 5 meetings, it will involve 20 people, including migrants. In Treviso, the second edition of the “Cultivating with nature” course will be organized for 20 participants. Finally, in Padua, on the occasion of World Food Day, an event on agroecology and resilient systems of production and consumption will be organized, illustrating the relationship between agroecology and food choices in both Burkina Faso and Italy.
I am Giulia Polato, born in 1989, scout and aid worker. Since I was a child, my family taught me a certain attention to social issues. The environment in which I grew up helped me to develop a certain pattern of thought and action. I remember my mother saying to me with her index finger menacingly relieved not to waste food “because African children die […]