Post Tagged with: "sahel"
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
Get this: 80% of Burkina Faso’s population attempts to make it’s living in subsistence agriculture while only 19% of land is arable. That makes farming kind of like a guy getting a date in a country where men outnumber women four to one. Poor soil qualities, fluctuations in rainfall, and topsoil erosion all contribute to the country’s crop production woes. Recent work is displayed here from the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s agricultural programs in Burkina Faso. MCC, a humanitarian arm of the US State Department, is boosting production and access to markets for small farmers in this West African country, however. The programs shown here document the organization’s efforts in sustainable agriculture, livestock vaccination, fertilizers, and agro-forestry, as well as ground-breaking, innovative initiatives. In the Market Information Systems program, agents use cell phone technology to publish regional market prices for a variety of commodities. Farmers who subscribe to the database can[…]Read More