Award sponsored by Direct Aid
The Sustainable Initiative of the Year Award 2022 was won by Morija Association on 16 November in Brussels at Develpoment2030.
This award recognises the best examples of green strategies – how working in environmentally friendly ways, does not have to sacrifice economic productivity.
About the winning Initiative:
In Burkina Faso, almost a third of the population has an unbalanced and insufficient diet and 90% have a poorly diversified diet. 50% of farmers have difficulties ensuring food security for their families. 60% of farmers misuse pesticides and are aware of the impoverishment of their land.
A diagnostic study carried out in September 2013 in the commune of Nobéré revealed that 91% of the population generates an average annual income of 48€ per year, with the majority living below the poverty line, set by the UN at $1.25 per day. Poverty affects farmers, who make up the majority of the population (95%).
Due to a lack of technical knowledge and agricultural equipment, but also because of degraded and unfertile soils, they have many struggles to feed their families. Non-environmental practices accelerate soil degradation and erosion and lead to a decrease in yields.
In response to this situation, Morija Association conducted the first phase of a rural development project from 2015 to 2020 in the Centre-South region, Zoudwéogo province, in the commune of Nobéré. It involves the establishment of Bocage Family Fields (BFF) cultivated in agroecology.
A BFF is an agro-ecological ecosystem that takes into account the fundamental elements of a sustainable agricultural system - soil, water and plants - and their interactions.
A field is about 1 ha in size and benefits one family. It is divided into 2 to 4 plots allowing for a multi-annual crop rotation. The structural arrangements of the field restore the soil, increase yields and preserve biodiversity.
Agroecology is a set of environmentally friendly agricultural production methods. Through simple and accessible farming practices. We teach farmers agroforestry, green cover, low tillage, land management with fallow and crop rotations. All of these practices enrich the soil and protect crops for sustainable and resilient production to face the climate change.
This first phase allowed 43 farmers to access to the bocage family fields. They were trained and monitored in agroecology. This allowed them to feed their families and harvest to sell their crops.
In 2021 a second phase began, it will finish in 2024 and will allow the farmers of Nobéré to consolidate their knowledge of agroecology through training and monitoring, to increase the number of beneficiaries (by including women's groups) and, above all, to strengthen the agricultural sector by creating an environmental and economic interest group, a point of sale for their products and an agroecological cooperative for the management of equipment.
To succeed with this project, they implementing the following activities:
- Transmission of the agroecological techniques of the BFF model and the market gardens to 78 beneficiaries and support in the valorisation of their productions.
Each year, a dozen of new beneficiaries are selected and they will be train together with the previous beneficiaries in agroecology and sales techniques.
- Development and transmission of new agroforestry practices to 78 beneficiaries and accompanying them in the valorisation of these new agroecological products.
Orchards will be created in 36 BFF plots, which will then be monitored during the cycle. The project team is trained in beekeeping and will train the beneficiaries. Beekeeping allows farmers to diversify their income with honey.
- Carrying out agronomic trials on the demonstration site in order to develop and disseminate agroecological practices to the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project.
An annual analysis of the beneficiaries’ needs is carried out in conjunction with the regional technical service. Trials are carried out on arboriculture, beekeeping, potting soil, biological treatment, forage meadows and livestock. A demonstration site is set up and an annual analysis of the soil and the environment of the site is carried out.
- Dissemination of practices to indirect beneficiary farmers.
Two services are in place to support farmers, the "nursery and planting" service and the "market gardening" service. A study on how to raise awareness of agroecological practices among the general public will be conducted.
- Creation of an Environmental and Economic Interest Group (EEIG) with the beneficiaries and the project team.
The members are identified and supported in drafting internal and commercial regulations and in drawing up a business plan and local operation. The grouping is formalised by obtaining a receipt and the GIEE and members are monitored
- Creation of a sales outlet to facilitate the sale of the EEIG's agroecological products.
A market study is carried out to evaluate the sale of products. Sales and storage points are identified and installed. The members of the EEIG are supported in selling their agroecological products.
- Creation of an agroecological material management cooperative (COOPEAE).
The members of the COOPEAE are identified and the services of the COOPEAE are defined. A storage and maintenance area for the equipment is identified and secured.
Read more about Morija Association here - https://www.morija.org/