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.

From March 5 to 6, 2018, Inades-Formation Burkina organized a workshop to identify and document by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food. This activity, which brought together some thirty local agricultural product processors from the Boucle du Mouhoun region, took place in the conference room of the Dédougou Diocese Welcome Centre. Objective of this workshop: Produce, in a participatory way, a capitalization document on by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food.

In 2017, Inades-Formation Burkina embarked on the implementation of the Program for the valorization of sovereignty food for sufficient, healthy and sustainable food for the populations of African countries south of the Sahara. This three-year program is implemented by eight member countries of the Inades-Formation network. It aims to promote food systems based on family farming for a decent life for all. In Burkina Faso, the Program, financed by the German NGO MISEREOR through the Inades-Formation General Secretariat, is implemented by Inades-Formation Burkina in the Boucle du Mouhoun region. This program aims to help promote the production, processing and consumption of three food crops: millet, cowpea and fonio. The organization of the workshop for the identification and documentation of the by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food is part of this dynamics.

Sovereignty food, food products historically anchored in the life of a given population

For Inades-Formation, the notion of sovereignty food refers to food products of plant and animal origin, historically anchored in the eating habits of the populations of a given region, in trade, in cultural practices. These products are known for their resistance to climate change, their nutritional quality and their low dependence on synthetic inputs. They play an important role in boosting the local economy. These are products for which the populations have developed a cumulative knowledge and know-how in terms of production and diversification of uses. Pascaline TAMBOURA/KIEMDE, Program Officer for Food Systems based on family farming at Inades-Formation Burkina, talks about the importance of promoting sovereignty food. “As far as food is concerned, we must and we can be independent from the outside world. We must put all the means necessary to be sovereign”. Pascaline TAMBOURA/KIEMDE was the main facilitator of the Dédougou workshop.

At this workshop for the identification and documentation of the by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food, guests, mainly women, came from two provinces of the Boucle du Mouhoun region. These are the Mouhoun and Kossi provinces. For two days, these women contributed to the identification and description of the various preparation stages of the different by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food. “From the information gathered from the workshop participants, I believe that we will be able to produce a very rich document on by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food,” says Pascaline TAMBOURA/KIEMDE.

Pascaline TAMBOURA/KIEMDE, Program Officer for Food Systems based on family farming facilitating the workshop

 

 

 

 

 

70 by-products and dishes identified and described

The first stage of the workshop consisted, after a brainstorming session, in the identification of by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food. Nearly 70 by-products and dishes were identified and grouped by category.

The by-products selected included, among other products: lumps of dèguè, couscous of millet, biscuits of small millet, bread of small millet, dèguè of fonio, cake of fonio, etc.

As far as the dishes are concerned, one can note the following: millet pancakes, small millet fritters, small millet porridge, small millet balls, etc.

“We can derive some satisfaction from the results of this workshop. We learned about the multitude and diversity of by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food that the participants revealed to us,” asserted Adama SOULAMA, Community Microfinance Program Officer at Inades-Formation Burkina and co-facilitator of the workshop.

In the second stage of the workshop, participants were asked to describe, in accordance with a framework, the various stages for the preparation of the identified dishes and by- products. The framework called for the following information to be collected for each by-products or dishes based on sovereignty food: the name of the knowledge holder, the equipment to be used, the different preparation steps, the time required for each step, ideas for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the product.

Targeted interviews with knowledge and know-how bearers on by-products and dishes based on sovereignty food

At the end of the workshop, Dakio Edith, one of the participants from Bonborokuy expressed her appreciation: “This workshop was a great opportunity to share knowledge about local dishes and it is a source of pride for us to talk about our dishes. As a women’s fonio processing organization, we were able to share our experience in the preparation of various dishes based on that food”. She added: “There are also fonio-based recipes that we did not know and that we  discovered with other participants in this workshop”.

Cookies and cowpea croquettes produced by the processors of the Benkadi Lomé Group of Dédougou

A regional workshop is planned for April for the representatives of the eight countries implementing the Program for the valorization of sovereignty food for sufficient, healthy and sustainable food for the populations of African countries south of the Sahara. During this workshop, a summary document of the various by-products and dishes identified in the eight countries will be produced for distribution to a wide public.