Burkina Faso is a West African country. Landlocked, it is among the ten poorest countries in the world: its Human Development Index ranks 183 out of 189 countries, with a life expectancy at birth of 60 years.
The inhabitants mainly live in rural areas, dealing with agriculture and livestock. However, production is insufficient to meet the needs of the entire population, 40.1% of which live below the poverty line (UNDP and WB data).
Loumbilà, 22.5 km from the capital Ouagadougou, is an area with a strong agricultural vocation, thanks also to the presence of dams that guarantee water supply for almost the whole year. However, agricultural activity is conditioned by the uncontrolled and incorrect use of chemical fertilizers, which contributes to the poor quality of the product and the degradation of the soil. Furthermore, the absence of adequate processing and conservation techniques means that agricultural products are largely wasted.
The condition of women is also very difficult: women, while actively participating in agricultural activities, find little representation, often unheard in peasant organizations.
Loumbilà, Burkina Faso
Loumbila, Burkina Faso
The project aimed to support the development of horticultural products and local tree species in the peri-urban area of Loumbilà through the introduction of production and conservation techniques according to the principles of agroecology.
At the same time, in Italy, particularly in the Veneto Region, the project intended to raise awareness and train people on the issues of short supply chains, healthy food and agroecology.
Loumbilà, near the capital Ouagadougou,
in Burkina Faso 250 farmers from the Loumbilà Union of Producers and their families, in Italy 300 young people
- Improve the capacities and opportunities for the production, processing and conservation of agricultural products.
- Production. Training was provided for representatives of the 17 groups of the Loumbilà Union of Producers on the main agroecological techniques, with particular regard to the choice of seeds, soil care, fertilization and the protection of plants from disease.
- The transformation. Transformation activities were organized for three groups of women for three different types of products: tomato, moringa leaves, lemongrass and kenkeliba (local plants with important nutritional properties). Each of the groups received both technical training and the materials and tools necessary for production.
- Conservation. A laterite warehouse was built for the conservation of onions. Laterite is a material that allows products to be kept fresh even with temperatures reaching 40 °. The onions could thus be stored so that their price increased compared to the time of harvest. For warehouse management, the training of 24 members of the Union / cooperative management committee was organized.
- The exchange of experiences. An exchange visit was organized with the Watinoma Association which operates in the village of Koubri on agroecology and tomato processing. A second visit took place in Italy, reserved for three people from the executive board of the Loumbilà Union of Producers with the involvement of the Italian farms that are project partners.
2. Strengthen the capacities of private and public actors to intervene in local economic development.
- The project involved the transformation of the Loumbilà Horticultural Producers Union into a level II cooperative through various training cycles for their members and support in the development of the business plan and in the production of the necessary bureaucratic documentation.
- A credit committee was created and trained, which had the task of managing the guarantee fund available to the 2nd level cooperative and guaranteeing the follow-up of those who have had access to credit. Committee members received a financial training course.
- An awareness campaign was launched for the consumption of healthy local food thanks to which Loumbilà products were launched on the Ouagadougou market also through the support of the Partner Ké de Burkinabé, a local company that deals with the purchase and sale of local products.
- A seminar on sustainable agriculture and agroecology was held with a focus on the opportunities offered by healthy and environmentally friendly food.
3. Increase the sensitivity of the population of the Veneto Region on issues of agroecology, short supply chains and healthy food for all through the involvement of the citizens of Padua and Treviso and the communities of Burkinabé migrants.
- A theoretical-practical course on sustainable horticulture was organized in Treviso, which involved young Italians and migrants with the support of experts in agroecology from the Treviso and Padua areas.
- An event was promoted in Padua on the theme of short supply chains and healthy food for all, in which local farms and communities of producers, distributors and local consumers and the representatives of the Union of Loumbilà, who came to Italy for the exchange of experiences, were involved.
- Two project presentation events were promoted in Padua and Treviso.
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 […]