We are at the end of the first year of work with the women producers and transformers of rice selected by the “Project for improvement of the nutritional conditions of women and children in the health districts of Garango and Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso”, co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and led by the ONG AES-CCC.
In this period of time, we have accompanied 100 groups of rice farmers to cultivate local quality rice, supplying work tools and training in simple agroecological techniques. Among the techniques there is the composten tas production technique, which alternates layers of natural fertilizer and herbs and natural accelerators, in order to have a quantitatively more important but especially healthier rice production, without chemical fertilizers.
Furthermore, we have built the first three rice transformation centers for other groups of women, that have been supplied with machinery and working materials, such as the decorticator and the sorter, used to obtain a cleaner rice reducing physical effort.
These groups of women have followed training courses: in particular about the OHADA law (the law about cooperative companies in Burkina Faso), accounting and management of the transformation centers. They have also learnt how to do the drafting of a business plan, a useful tool to plan development and eventually ask local microfinance institutions for financing.
The team of Mani Tese takes care of following the women’s training and accompaniment, but our job does not end now and in the next two years we will create other seven transformation centers in order to respond to all producers’ needs and we will experiment on a variety of local rain rice.
As a matter of fact, rice has a leading role in the burkinabé diet, but at the current state the internal requirement of the nation depends on external imports, often low-quality ones, and so it is important to enhance local production.