Global warming and drought are increasingly causing the earth in Burkina Faso to dry out. Many people in the rural central plateau suffer from hunger and poverty. Solidar Suisse trains small-scale farmers in environmental agricultural practices that spare water and produce good yields. A safety net for small-scale farmers is being developed through local solidarity initiatives.
Land scarcity and poverty
People in the highlands around the capital Ouagadougou are poor. In total, 90% of people live off what they produce from a small plot of land. The quantity they can produce is falling, because Burkina Faso is heavily impacted by climate change. Extreme weather events, droughts and heavy rain are causing crop yields to decrease. The regular use of pesticides is further degrading the soil. Many small-scale farmers struggle to feed themselves and their families and suffer from hunger. There is increasing pressure on available agricultural land because the population is growing, largely because people are fleeing conflicts in the northern part of the country.
Solidar Suisse is supporting organic farming to promote food security. In addition, we cooperate with local organisations of small-scale farmers. They have many years of experience in growing vegetables, livestock breeding and marketing produce. Together we educate small-scale farmers in sustainable land management.
Farmers in Burkina Faso learn how to grow organic vegetables, apply compost and breed livestock in a considerate manner. In addition, they are provided with new tools and equipment that enable them to achieve better yields.
To balance out the seasonal fluctuations in agriculture, we train farmers to become more entrepreneurial. They learn how they can improve their income, by for example cultivating okra and sesame and selling their produce at local markets. They also learn how to preserve and market foods. There is a particular focus on niche products to prevent over-production from driving down market prices. We provide small-scale credits to help mitigate seasonal and climate-driven price fluctuations and seed shortages; we also jointly support solidarity seed banks and social funds.
«Since I undertook the training and was provided with equipment, I’ve seen my working methods improve significantly. I now need less energy and I produce both sufficient, and good quality. Even better – my customers are satisfied and give me great praise.»
More money for education
In recent years, Solidar Suisse has successfully helped over 2,800 small-scale farmers to improve their agricultural productivity. Nearly 80% of these farmers were able to at least double their yields of millet. The self-sufficiency rate among farmer families surveyed rose from 12% to 80%, which greatly improved the food security of these households. Currently, as part of the project 8,150 farmers are producing sustainably and sufficiently. In total, 2,700 farmer families are earning additional income, with which they are able to pay school fees or go to the doctor, while 5,470 people are benefitting from the shared seed bank.
The self-sufficiency rate of the participating farming families increased from 12 to 80 percent. Thousands of families were able to improve their income.
Donate for victims of climate change
Your donation supports small-scale farmers in Burkina Faso and will help to mitigate the severe impacts of climate change.