Post Tagged with: "burkina faso"
It’s one thing to increase the crop yields of vulnerable, smallholder farmers in a climate-challenged corner of the world. Lots of organizations are working – and bearing fruit – in this capacity. It’s another thing entirely to transform these smallholder farmers into major agricultural producers, connect them with buyers, and strengthen the value chain of a commodity for an entire region. In my most recent assignment with Lutheran World Relief, I was commissioned to take a brief look at the SESAME project, a US Department of Agriculture-funded initiative that works not only to increase the quality and volume of sesame farmers in Burkina Faso, but also to strengthen the cooperative system in sesame growing regions of the county. By working in cooperatives, everyday farmers can negotiate higher prices, streamline quality, access inputs and enhance overall market conditions, all of which create a sustainable, private-sector led framework for the sale[…]Read More
Every day the Sahara Desert gets a little bit bigger. Millimeter by millimeter, the desert encroaches on the people of the Sahel, the biogeographic zone in west and central Africa that transitions between the vast desert to the north and the fertile savannah to the south. For most people who find their homes here, living off the land becomes all the more difficult year after year. In an earlier post I talked about ways that farmers are rejuvenating their land through Lutheran World Relief’s CORE II project (Community-Led Food Crisis Recovery in the Sahel). This is a necessary undertaking to boost agricultural productivity, but is also one that takes time. In addition to maintaining fertile fields, survival in this climate-volatile region also depends on one’s ability to diversify income. Cue the goats! Livestock production can be a lucrative and sustainable income for poor farmers. Goats in particular are[…]Read More
Many people in the developing world have no choice but to make a living as subsistence farmers in extremely adverse conditions. In the West African Sahel, desertification threatens the food security and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. Lutheran World Relief’s agricultural projects help these farmers to rejuvenate their land and mitigate drought through the use of water harvesting and organic farming techniques. Vast swaths of barren land have been brought back to life through these interventions. This is a bold claim, but my drone helps to prove it!Read More
Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? I recently visited several villages in Burkina Faso and Kenya where the primary sources of livelihood fall from the sky, later to be collected from the ground and sold on the market – macadamia and shea nuts. Okay, it’s not always quite that easy, especially for shea nuts, which must go through a rigorous production process, shown below, to be made into a marketable product like shea nut butter or shea nut oil. The photographs shown here were taken for Shared Interest, an investment company in the UK financing fair trade growers and producers in the developing world. They are copyrighted, so please don’t use them without permission.Read More
This is big-picture stuff. No, I’m not talking about the number of megapixels on my Canon 5D Mark III, I’m talking about the work of US development organization, MCC. The Millennium Challenge Corporation works to impact developing nations and their economies on a macro scale. Part of this work means renovating the infrastructure on which a nation operates. While certainly not the most emotionally gripping topic, infrastructure is key to any country’s economic development. Build a solid enough foundation, and a nation will have the tools it needs to provide for its own citizens. Above, a main artery stretches through the city of Nampula, in Mozambique, where MCC is rehabilitating roads and renovating the city’s municipal water system. The country’s grueling civil war ended in 1992, but much of its infrastructure has yet to recover, even now. Below, workers construct the Nacala Dam in northern Mozambique, which will supply water[…]Read More
A couple of times in the past I’ve gotten flack for giving credit to former US President George W. Bush here my blog, though it’s not because of any particular political persuasion I hold. On the continent of Africa, no other leader’s legacy endures more so than that of President Bush–trust me, I live here. From the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Program (PEPFAR) to his efforts to combat cervical cancer on the continent, Mr. Bush’s initiatives have saved millions, yes, millions of lives here. So, just as I always ask for a photo by-line from my clients, I won’t refuse to give credit where credit is due when talking about another Bush-founded agency dedicated to aid in the developing world, the Millennium Challenge Corporation. My most recent work with the Millennium Challenge Corporation has so far taken me to the African countries of Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Many[…]Read More