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Special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger

Green innovation centre Burkina Faso

Rice paddies in Dano in Burkina Faso

A little over a third of all arable land in Burkina Faso is already so impoverished that it can no longer be farmed – and a further 2,500 square kilometres are lost every year. This arable land loss can be attributed to drought, flooding as well as to the continued cultivation of the same crops all the time. The result is that one fifth of the country’s population is undernourished.

Although 85 per cent of the population is employed in agriculture, there are virtually no occupations in this sector requiring formal training. The green innovation centre in Burkina Faso encourages crop rotation between rice and vegetables as well as the production of sesame seeds for export. In addition to improving the food and nutrition situation, this also increases people’s income.

What is so innovative?

At international level: As far as the global export of sesame seeds is concerned, not only the producible quantity but above all the quality has to be right. A new cleaning facility will in future enable 18,000 farmers, working under contract farming conditions, to sell their sesame seed harvest in specified quantities and at higher prices.

Processed so as to be ready-to-eat: Rice coming directly from the field cannot be eaten straight away as it needs to be husked first. In future, 9,000 farmers will be able to take their rice to two new rice mills in their region. Millers operate the mills and sell the rice, and are taking on 68 new members of staff to carry out these tasks.

Practical training: One thousand trainees and graduates of advanced training courses pass through the Centre Agricole Polyvalent de Matourkou agricultural school each year. On twelve fields that have been set aside for training purposes they learn the most important methods used in agriculture today. In addition to this, there are around 1,000 rice producers who participate in farmer field schools to learn how they can generate higher yields on the same areas of land by adopting more intensive farming methods.


Our objectives

  • To increase income for 80,000 smallholders by 30 per cent
  • To create 1,000 new jobs
  • To provide education and training for 100,000 smallholders

Routes to success

Seeds which have been cleaned are one factor determining the success of sesame and rice production. In the past there was just a single fixed cleaning facility in Burkina Faso, which meant that seed growers were forced to travel long distances to reach it. A mobile unit is now available to serve 200 seed growers, thus enabling more farmers to purchase seeds of a greater purity.

There is a global demand not only for sesame seeds, but also for the oil derived therefrom. Thanks to oil presses and filtering equipment which are both easy to use and require little maintenance, more processing plants are able to branch out into sesame oil production. Oil producers have agreed fixed supply contracts with 2,500 farmers. The expertise they need to be able to produce high-quality oil for the international market has been obtained thanks to the green innovation centre.

The green innovation centre has already helped to set up three processing operations on the site of the Centre Agricole Polyvalent de Matourkou agricultural school. One operation is dedicated to cleaning sesame seeds, another to the production of sesame oil and a third acts as a rice mill. Here, the trainees learn first-hand how to operate, clean and maintain machinery while at the same time familiarising themselves with all of the quality standards which need to be met.


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