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Videos from Day 1 of Visit with Farmer Innovators in Burkina Faso

Steve Bratt · February 3, 2010

Chris Reij from VU University – Amsterdam led a group including Stephane Boyera, George Sadowsky and me from the Web Foundation on an educational tour of the desert regions north of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The purpose was to orient participants in the new Web-alliance for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) and others on the progress and challenges made by initiatives aimed at natural regeneration of trees in these regions. This was an incredibly useful trip for informing the  Workshop on Mobile Web for Rural Development, the Foundation’s first workshop held in  Ouagadougou on 3-4 February. I have many, many pictures and videos from this trip, and many more stories and memories. In the interest of speed over completeness, below is a small set of  visuals from Burkina Faso from 31 January 2010 with less explanation that there should be.

Key learnings from this day:

  • It is possible to grow trees and crops in very dry, near-desert conditions, and using locally-available resources:  a hoe, manure, available rain fall, bands of stones and/or hole to trap the moisture, and sprigs of vegetation that can be nurtured to grow into trees using the aforementioned resources.
  • A small minority of farmers have discovered and are employing these techniques.
  • The work of groups like the Africa Re-greening Initiative are helping to spread the sharing of knowledge of techniques between the farmers who are practicing them to others who could use the.  Most of this dissemination is through face-to-face visits, which limits the speed at which knowledge can be shared.
  • Vast majority of farmers have access to mobile phones and radios.
  • The Burkinabé people and our project partners are smart, open, enthusiastic, very friendly and great people to work with.
W4RA Group on the farm of Sibiri Sawadogo (purple)
Saa Dittoh, Anna Bon, Nasse Ouedraogo, Sibiri Sawadogo, Chris Reij, Steve Bratt, Wendelien Tuyp, George Sadowsky, Hans Akkermans, Stephane Boyera, Jean Kabore

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  1. zwan

    February 4, 2010

    Hello, sorry, I am right now in Mali for a citizen jury about research on agricultural issues. I'd like to meet you! Maybe you met someone of Burkina NTIC (or Yam Pukri), that's where I work.

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    1. Steve Bratt

      February 4, 2010

      Zwan .. It's great to meet you. Your colleague Sylvestre Ouendrago from Yam Purki is here at the Workshop, and making very valuable contributions. We will be working in and around Burkina for three years. Stephane Boyera, our W4RA manager, and I would be very happy to meet in the near future.

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    2. David Reed

      February 4, 2010

      Steve - Hope it is all continuing to go well... Your efforts are much appreciated by those there as well as here. As we say, we may never complete the task but we are not allowed to abandon our efforts to achieve 'tikun olam', a better world for all. Keep up the good work.I'll tell Mr. Lukens that you are now training in Burkina Faso; he'll chuckle, pull at the brim of his ever-present cap, and chuckle. Some things never change - - thankfully.Dave

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      1. Steve Bratt

        February 5, 2010

        Hey Dave ... Thanks for the comment. Will post many more pictures, videos and stories soon. Say hi to the coach from me!

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