A secure and preferably extended agricultural season has become a central issue for Yennenga Progress. And now the true work can start thanks to a new collaboration with the Swedish food company, MAX Burgers.
It is difficult to imagine forest fires in Burkina Faso's half desert – what could catch fire? But climate change is highly evident in Nakamtenga. The agriculture here is the cornerstone of life, but farmers have seen how they can no longer rely on how the rain historically has come during June-September. And if the harvests are not enough for the family's consumption, the young lose hope to be able to stay in the area and live off the family's land.
We can call it "experimental farming" or why not "school farm" as it is meant to be a model for others.
The project is primarily aimed at vegetable cultivation throughout the year. It starts with a new deep drilled well and a water tower with a solar powered pump. From the tower, hoses are drawn to a system of so-called drip irrigations, which makes it possible to grow crops with only a fifth of the water normally required. In addition to increased food security and better nutrition, the initiative also creates jobs for 50 young people during the first year.
Part of the experimental farming is designed as a demonstration field where everyone in the area can learn new methods (and traditional well-functioning methods!) And thus introduce more vegetables and adapted crops on their own lands. A simple open course room and a magazine for the crops will also be built. Here, farmers from surrounding villages will also be offered training on land use, seed selection, non-chemical fertilizers and pesticides, etc.
This training will also be documented and packaged in an e-learning platform so that people living in similar conditions elsewhere can take part of the methods.
The land is the only asset of the Nakamtenga population. But there is now a rapidly growing demand for organically grown vegetables and cereals in the region. A secured agricultural season will be an important addition to the other income-generating activities that Yennenga initiated over the years.
The fact that it is specifically Max Burgers who has joined this venture feels amazing! Their interest in sustainability, new methods for food safety and holistic initiatives, means that we not only get the investment financed, but also get an important platform of knowledge for the work ahead!