On May 16 and 17, 2019 Inades-Formation Burkina organized an activity to promote products and dishes based on “sovereignty food” in schools in the Boucle du Mouhoun region of Burkina Faso. The objective was to get students to know the products derived from sovereignty food and to consume the food that comes from it. In Dédougou and Nouna, where this activity took place, the students participated with enthusiasm and curiosity. About 200 students attended the event.

The activity to promote products and dishes based on “sovereignty food” involved the students of the Lycée Provincial and Lycée St Gabriel in Dédougou as well as those of the Collège Charles Lwanga in Nouna. Inades-Formation Burkina’s intervention in these schools was marked by a conference on the subject and a tasting session of local dishes. The conference was marked by a presentation phase on the notion of sovereignty food, the issues, the products, the dishes related to these foods. During the tasting phase, the students were led to consume various dishes prepared by processors supported by Inades-Formation Burkina in both localities.

Djamilatou OUATTARA, a student in 1st D class at the Charle Lwanga High School in Nouna, has this to say about this activity: “I really appreciate this initiative. It allowed me to know that local products can be used to prepare many dishes and it’s really fantastic”.

For the Inades-Formation network, “sovereignty food” is a food product of plant and animal origin, historically rooted in the eating habits of the populations of a given region, in commercial exchanges and in cultural practices. They are known for their resistance to climate change, their nutritional quality, their low dependence on synthetic inputs and their important role in boosting the local economy. These include millet, sorghum, cowpea (beans), fonio, local chicken.

In the schools in Dédougou and Nouna which they visited, Inades-Formation Burkina members talked to the students about dishes such as: pearl millet juice, pearl millet meatballs, millet couscous, fonio dêguê, fonio juice, fonio balls with bean leaves, cowpea biscuits (beans), etc. They also had the opportunity to consume these dishes at the tasting session. “I made a lot of discoveries about local food at this activity organized by Inades-Formation Burkina. Now I know the value of local food and I will prefer it to imported products. In addition, I will talk about it around me to get my family and friends to prepare and consume more local food,” says Nikiéma Yasmine, a 5th grade student at the Lycée Provincial de Dédougou.

The activity organized by Inades-Formation Burkina for students is part of the implementation of the Project to promote “sovereignty food” for sufficient, healthy and sustainable food for the people of Burkina Faso. This project financed by the German NGO MISEREOR is implemented by Inades-Formation Burkina in the Boucle du Mouhoun region. It is also implemented in 7 other countries of the Inades-Formation network. These countries are: Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Togo and Cameroon.

Inades Formation Burkina, in its support to the decentralization process, helps Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to become aware of their role in the decentralization process through awareness-raising, training and advisory support actions. Thanks to this support, the beneficiary organizations ended up perceiving their importance and their role in local governance. They are organized in a network to defend the rights and interests of the populations by carrying out influential actions through advocacy and interpellation.

The creation of the CSBs and their mission

In its support to the decentralization process, Inades Formation Burkina, after awareness-raising, training and advisory support actions to raise the awareness of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and their involvement in local governance, supports the setting up of Grassroots Monitoring Committees (CSBs).  CSBs are therefore networks of civil society organizations whose role is to monitor the implementation of public actions and policies at the local level.

Thus, forty CSBs have been set up, five (5) in the Northern region and thirty-five (35) in the Central Plateau region.

The mission of these CSBs is to:

Ensure the monitoring, mainly through the involvement, identification, actions and public policies implemented in the locality;

Collect information on the status of implementation of public actions and policies;

Monitor the implementation of public actions and policies;

Call on decision-makers in case of needs on the implementation of public actions and policies;

Serve as interlocutors for local decision-makers;

Gather the needs of local communities and defend their interests;

Influence local governance according to grassroots community’s concerns.

The Ouindigui CSB, a good example of commitment to local governance

The CSB of Ouindigui, a commune in the northern region, was set up in 2016.  Since its establishment, this committee, comprised of more than ten associations, has actively participated in the management of public affairs in the commune of Ouindigui and has on several occasions defended the interests of the local population. The activities conducted by the Ouindigui Grassroots Monitoring Committee include:

Exchanges with the communal authorities to understand the reasons for the blockage in the subdivision operation;

Denunciation of a case of diversion of medical equipment by an agent;

Reporting on cases of nurse misconduct;

These various denunciations and interpellations are often carried out in a well-organized framework, such as the meeting held at the end of the year between the municipal executive board and the members of the CSB.

In addition, on its own initiative, the CSB often participates in municipal council meetings. These sessions are held once every quarter. To abide by the rules of good conduct of the organizations, the CSB holds once every 6 months a general assembly with all its members in order to assess the activities and plan for the future.

The National Committee for the Promotion of Family Agriculture in Burkina Faso (CNAF Burkina Faso) established in 2015 is an organization born from the National Committee for the Celebration of the International Year of the Family Farming (IYFF 2014) in Burkina Faso. It is comprised of 50 members or sympathizer organizations including farmers’ organizations, development associations and NGOs. This body has been involved since 2017, in the implementation of the “project to improve family farming conditions in Burkina Faso”. The project is funded by the World Rural Forum and is scheduled to end in October 2018.

 

On a family farm in Burkina Faso

The status of the farmer and the family farm are recognized by the Agro-Sylvo-Pastoral Fisheries and Wildlife Orientation Act (LOASPHF) passed in Burkina in 2015. This law is supposed to ensure respect for human rights and social equity in the agricultural sector. Unfortunately, it was not followed by an implementing legislation.

In addition, in 2015, the government began developing the second phase of the national rural sector program (PNSR II). This was an opportunity for farmers to have their concerns taken into account.

The project, currently implemented by CNAF Burkina Faso, therefore aims to contribute to the promotion of family agriculture through the implementation of the Agro-Sylvo-Pastoral Fisheries and Wildlife Orientation Act in Burkina Faso and also through the implementation of the second phase of the National Rural Sector Program.

In concrete terms, the CNAF is called upon, within the framework of this project, to contribute to the adoption of an implementing decree relating to the legal status of farms and agricultural operators as defined by the LOASPHF. It should also defend the interests of family farmers during the drawing up and implementation of the second phase of the national rural sector program. The CNAF is also expected to capitalize on the participation of farmers’ organizations and civil society organizations in the development of agricultural policies.

To ensure that the expectations and concerns of family farmers are really taken into account in Phase II of the PNSR, CNAF Burkina initiated several activities during the formulation of this Program. These include:

  • The transmission to the government of a memorandum from agricultural professional organizations in the form of a memorandum contributing to the preparation of the PNSR II;
  • The holding of regional workshops for the preparation of Agricultural Professional Organizations (OPA) in the framework of the formulation of the regional PNSR;
  • The holding of a workshop to present the conclusions of the regional workshop to strengthen the dynamics of the Agricultural Professional Organizations’ involvement in the formulation process of the National Agricultural Investment Programs for Food and Nutritional Security (PNIASAN);
  • The holding of a national workshop to review the draft document of the PNSR II;
  • Support of Agricultural Professional Organizations and CSOs to participate in regional consultations and the national validation workshop of the PNSRII.

The activities carried out in connection to the adoption of an implementing decree relating to the legal status of the holder and the farmer focused on the review of the LOASPHF implementing texts, which enabled 7 implementing decrees to be tidied.

In perspective, the CNAF plans to train Agricultural Professional Organizations leaders on public policy monitoring, namely on the PNSRII. To this end, the PNSRII document will be simplified, multiplied and disseminated to grassroots stakeholders for better knowledge of the content and facilitation of monitoring. The CNAF experiences in influencing agricultural policies will be capitalized and disseminated.

 

An exchange meeting between the CNAF Coordination Board–Burkina Faso and a delegation of the World Rural Forum

The CNAF is also getting ready to organize a workshop to develop key advocacy messages for policy makers. Meetings are planned with ministerial authorities in charge of the rural sector for the introduction of the decree implementing the LOASPHF in the Council of Ministers. Efforts will also be made at the National Assembly for the adoption of decrees implementing that law.

Consideration will be given to the status of the holder and the farmer operator. A national workshop will be organized for this purpose and a CNAF position paper will be produced.  To enable a wider public to be better informed about the status of the holder and the farmer operator, television debates will also be organized.