The province of Zoundwéogo now has a different kind of village.  Not just any village, but a climate-smart village. Rural stakeholders in this part of Burkina Faso discovered the particularities of this village. The visit took place on Friday, September 15, 2023, and was chaired by Mme Congo Mamounata, President of the Special Delegation of the Bindé commune.

The population of Ouda and the surrounding area stormed the demonstration site. More than 200 people, including producers from the commune of Bindé, representatives of the Manga milk innovation platform and technical services from the agriculture, livestock and environment departments, local authorities and a number of NGOs, took part in this guided tour of the Technology and Innovation demonstration plots in the Climate -Smart Village in Ouda.

It was organized by the Regional Centre of Excellence in Fruit and Vegetables, as part of the activities of the Agricultural Technologies and Innovations Scaling Up Project for Increasing the Resilience of Production Systems and Family Farms in West and Central Africa (TARSPro)

As part of the 2023-2024 agricultural season, the purpose of the visit was to present to the community of Ouda and surrounding areas the themes being developed in the demonstration field as part of the climate-smart village program. The technologies concerned included integrated soil fertility management, the use of improved seed varieties (maize, sorghum, cowpea, rice, soybean), crop rotation, crop association and the use of forage species.

This follows a baseline study carried out as part of the TARSPro program. “This study showed that local farmers face a number of constraints, notably soil fertility, falling yields and the effects of climatic hazards,” says Dr Bandaogo Alimata, an agropedologist and researcher with INERA’s GRN-SP program. To find solutions to these constraints, we had to resort to the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA). Ouda was chosen as the site for the Climate-Smart Village.

According to Dr. Sodré Etienne, an agropastoralist at INERA specializing in Climate Intelligent Agriculture (CIA), “these days, the climate is changeable, creating many hazards that affect agricultural production. The AIC aims to take into account all climate-related information in order to adapt agricultural practices to cope with the situation“, he said. It is in this context that the TARSPro program has set up this AIC technology demonstration site.

A series of technology packages implemented!

This guided tour was an opportunity for the organizers to share their knowledge and experience of the demonstration fields with participants, and to gather growers’ opinions and comments on the themes developed.

“The Komcallé and Tecksongo bean varieties appealed to me because of their biomass, which remains green. We’re so spoilt for choice that we prefer to wait for the harvest to see which of these varieties to choose for the village of Ouda“, asserted Mme Congo Mamounata.

Like her, other participants, notably the growers, were very appreciative. This was the case of Mr. Baga L. Benjamin, who pointed out that everyone in his family cultivates. “What we have learned will enable us to improve our agriculture”, he said. In other words, the initiative is well and truly commendable. In the same vein, the project team held open-ended discussions with the growers. The aim of these exchanges was to help them better understand the technical systems by theme, apprehend their interest and make a joint assessment of the different options in order to identify their preferences.

The establishment of this demonstration site is one of the flagship activities of the TARSPro program. Led by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), the program is financed by the Swiss Cooperation over a 4-year period, and aims to improve the deployment of technologies and innovations (T&I).