Feedback on the national workshop in Burkina Faso as part of the AVACLIM project

Feedback on the national workshop in Burkina Faso as part of the AVACLIM project

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the national workshop was attended by 41 agro-ecology players working on the Avaclim project. From 25 to 27 November, the implementing partner Association pour la Recherche et la Formation en Agroécologie (ARFA) led working groups and plenary sessions to share experiences at the Notre Dame de Lorette centre.

Following an introductory speech by the Chairman of ARFA’s Board of Directors, Mr Mathieu Savadogo, the objectives of the workshop were presented to the participants, who included producers, associated scientific partners, support structures and representatives of implementing partners. Like the national workshops in the other Avaclim countries, these objectives are to gain a better understanding of the project, share knowledge and experience on agro-ecological initiatives, and analyse common needs in terms of research, advocacy and communication.

The initiatives include ARFA’s “ecological market gardening” initiative. The association operates in the north of the country, a region severely affected by drought. To make up for the shortfall in production during the rainy season, ARFA is helping to boost off-season market garden production. Since total control of water is a sine qua non for off-season crops, ARFA is working to improve the management of this resource by setting up farmer trainers who, with the support of action research, are responsible for disseminating tried and tested techniques in these areas (water-saving watering techniques, organic soil improvers and fertilisers, and drilling boreholes). 

The participants considered ways of improving the political environment in favour of agroecology by identifying the government players, the institutions involved, the communication channels and the processes for creating or improving the agricultural policy framework. In this way, they identified the value of advocating for agroecology to play a greater role in the national REDD+ strategy, and the opportunity to raise awareness of these issues during the National Farmers’ Days (JNP). 

Discussions also focused on the choice of indicators for evaluating initiatives, and on the obstacles to the wider, systematic scaling-up of agroecology. Above all, there was a need for communication, awareness-raising and dissemination of tried and tested practices, as well as market development for eco-biological products and promotion of youth entrepreneurship in favour of agroecology.

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