17 November 2022 – Since 2017, Acting for Life is carrying out a large-scale project to offer professional training for young people in four regions of Burkina Faso (Sahel, Est, Cascades and Hauts-Bassins) and help them find jobs. As the project is coming to an end, discover some portraits of young people that the project has helped to support.
As in other countries in the sub-region, professional training centres in Burkina Faso are still underequipped, and programmes are often poorly adapted to the innovations and needs of the market. Against this backdrop, The READY project – Raising Employment Access and Development for Youth – aims to train 1,300 young people in electricity, plumbing and agriculture, improve training programmes and help programme graduates seek employment.
Discover the portraits of eight young Burkinabes who were accompanied as part of this project.
Training centres were provided with additional material and human resources – particularly instructors – in order to create the best possible conditions for learning, while minimising absences and drop-outs. As part of the professional integration process, trainees also participate in training sessions or workshops on entrepreneurship, “soft skills” and IT skills.
Implemented by Acting for Life and its local partners TIN TUA and OCADES in Burkina Faso, this project was made possible thanks to the financial support of NORAD and the AnBer, Ditumba, and Taroko Foundations.
25 october 2022 – The success of the partnership between local authorities and livestock markets management committees lies essentially in the constitution of these committees and the distribution of revenues.
Self-managed livestock markets are increasingly being promoted. They allow more traceability and sustainability than “traditional” or “project” markets. Indeed, huge profits are untraceable and untaxed in traditional markets; project markets disappear after the project is completed. The establishment of a self-managed market alone cannot guarantee the payment of taxes.
In the past, many local officials have underestimated the importance of the livestock trade. However, thanks to a collective awareness, there is no longer any question of leaving the financial manna hidden in the hands of a few people.
The delay accumulated by local authorities in the management of livestock trading infrastructures is gradually being made up for thanks to projects such as PAMOBARMA, the Livestock Mobility Support Project for Better Access to Resources and Markets, run by Acting for Life and its partners. There is a real awareness of the challenges of the agro-pastoral sector and a clear interest on the part of local authorities to work with livestock farmers to ensure more traceable, equitable and sustainable economic management.
The executive secretaries representing the local authorities consider the delegation of livestock market management to be relevant and are working on signing agreements with the management committees, which have formed a formal association. Some committees do not hesitate to hire the services of a “manager”.
The success of the partnership between a town hall and a livestock market management committee lies essentially in the constitution of the committee (choice of members) and the distribution of revenues.
Autonomous management of livestock markets is more advanced in Benin and the model promoted in other countries of the West African sub-region.
There is no one-size-fits-all convention, but each commune must, depending on the general socio-economic context and particularly the weight and geographical position of the livestock market, find the appropriate formula to define the rights and duties of the contracting parties.
Not all agro-pastoral infrastructure automatically generates revenue, as is the case with an animal passageway. Some water works (especially boreholes), rest areas and grazing areas deserve as much attention as livestock markets in their construction and management in order to ensure not only maintenance but also a return on investment.
Article written by Zana Coulibaly, Programme Director at Acting for Life, following his participation in the webinar series entitled: “Managing livestock markets and other agro-pastoral infrastructure: a goldmine for local authorities?“.
Acting for Life has published its 2021 Annual report, tracing the actions carried out by our teams in 19 projects across 14 countries. A year punctuated by the collaborations maintained by the NGO with its local partners in West Africa and Latin America.
“For nearly 50 years, we have carried out all our actions in partnership with a wide variety of local actors who are in touch with the realities in the field and capable of implementing programmes to reduce economic and social vulnerability, by focusing on the ecological transition and mitigating the effects of global warming. Acting for Life continued to pursue this approach in 2021 by helping its local partners further strengthen their capacities and resources in order to ensure that the programmes produce long-term results, and to address the needs of vulnerable communities in the Andes and in West Africa“.
Jean-Cyril Spinetta, President of Acting for Life, 2021 Editorial.
Acting for Life has published its 2020 Annual report, tracing the actions carried out by our teams in 23 projects across 15 countries. A year punctuated by the collaborations maintained by the NGO with its local partners in West Africa and Latin America.
“In 2020, Acting for Life defined three major areas of focus for the period 2020–2025: Agropastoralism, Technical & Vocational Education & Training, Food Systems & Ecosystems, which, each in their own way, help combat economic and social vulnerability while helping promote the transition to agroecology and gender equality. Acting for Life reaffirmed its partnerbased strategy, working with civil-society organisations in the South that are committed to strengthening their capacities and their role in promoting local economic development“.
Jean-Cyril Spinetta, President of Acting for Life, 2020 Editorial.
Acting for Life supports the adoption of an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists
Acting for Life is taking part in the adoption of an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists at the initiative of the Government of Mongolia, and is asking the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in Rome to support this resolution.
As a French NGO and network that has been accompanying pastoral organisations throughout the world for many years, we wish to express our support and commitment to the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP), proposed by the Government of Mongolia. A resolution concerning this International Year will be discussed at the beginning of October, during the next meeting of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in which you represent France. It is for this reason that we are sending you this letter.
Pastoralism, a means of livelihood
Pastoralism is the main means of subsistence in many regions of the world, particularly in arid and mountainous areas, where other forms of agricultural practices are impossible. As such, it is based on specific know-how anchored in an exceptional social capital through which pastoralist families contribute to the valorisation of very large areas, by contributing to the sustainable management of uncertain and fragile ecosystems. In such territories with limited agricultural capacity, pastoralism is the main driving force of the local and regional economy : providing food for families, income and employment for pastoral communities – but also for rural areas where transhumance takes place and even urban centres and coastal regions, which benefit from regional trade and products from the agropastoralist sector. Pastoralism is also one of the methods of rearing herbivores most in tune with the challenges of preserving ecosystems, carbon sequestration, preserving biodiversity and adapting to climate change.
But a way of life threatened
Nevertheless, despite the many benefits of pastoralism – recognised by several major political commitments in the past decade – pastoralist families face major challenges that threaten their way of life. They suffer from socio-cultural, political and environmental marginalisation, exclusion from policy dialogue, inequitable conditions for market access, and low levels of investment, resulting in limited access to basic services and infrastructures. They suffer the effects of unfavourable policies that lead to growing land insecurity, numerous obstacles to mobility, and the undermining of alliances and economic exchanges that create social links between communities. In some areas, pastoralist societies are also among the first victims of security crises that undermine their economy and identity.
An International Year for enhancing the essential roles of pastoralists and pastoral ecosystems
An International Year would make it possible to highlight the essential roles of pastoralists and pastoral ecosystems – and would help pastoral organisations and their partners in their dialogue with the States of the North and South to implement public policies that are truly in line with these realities.
Our organisations,committed to pastoral rural families in Europe and the South, will actively participate in the implementation of the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists. Through a large number of projects in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Sahel, West and East Africa, the Andes and Mongolia, we support pastoral organisations by supporting them in their initiatives to secure pastoral land tenure, sustainable management of pastoral resources (pasture, water and transhumance routes), access to markets, dialogue on pastoral development policies, defence of rights and citizenship, enhancement of pastoral sectors, setting up information mechanisms, advocacy and the prevention and management of pastoralist crises. Together, we are experimenting with mixed livestock management combining herd mobility and access to adapted forms of basic social services (civil status, education, animal and human health, etc.).
This Year would also support our advocacy towards decision-makers, so that public policies in favour of pastoralists and pasturelands are implemented and thus contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Acting for Life, AVSF, GRET, Inter-réseaux and Iram therefore strongly support the government of Mongolia in its call for an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists and hope that the United Nations will adopt the resolution on this initiative at COAG.
We thank you for your attention to this request and send our warmest greetings to you, Your Excellency Madam Ambassador.
Since the start of the PROFIL project in 2018, Acting for Life and its partner ARFA (Association pour la Recherche et la Formation en Agroécologie) have been training young rural people in the eastern region of Burkina Faso in organic and agro-ecological production techniques.
About 100 young women and men received practical training in organic sesame production. In the Eastern region, sesame is an increasingly important cash crop. ARFA is developing an integrated organic supply chain that leads to sesame certification and allows producers to increase their income.
After the training, these young future organic sesame producers are supported in their first season through technical-productive monitoring in the plots, but also by providing inputs and putting them in touch with the union of producers who manage the marketing.
ARFA has also trained nearly 400 beneficiaries in various agro-ecological techniques: anti-erosion control, soil fertilization and crop protection. Each training course lasts 4 days and allows young people to be made aware of the importance of agro-ecology and to acquire practical skills: techniques for reclaiming degraded land (stony barriers, grass strips, earthen bunds, etc.); water and soil conservation techniques; techniques for producing, extracting, drying, conserving and using compost; and ecological techniques for preventive and curative control of the main crop pests and diseases.
These trainings also give them a better understanding of their environment, the erosion phenomena that are taking place and their consequences, the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals and effective and environmentally friendly control methods, all for a better resilience and adaptation to climate change.
This kind of initiative is crucial in this region of eastern Burkina Faso, which is prone to climate change, land impoverishment and erosion.
With more than 20 years of experience, ARFA has helped promote agro-ecological practices; contribute to improving the living conditions of the populations through the agro-ecological approach and environmental education; contribute to building the capacity of rural populations to adapt to climate change in order to achieve food security and increase incomes.
Within the framework of the PROFIL project, a follow-up of the young people will allow us to know what will be the impact of these awareness training sessions and the rate of appropriation of these techniques by the young people. We can already say that in 2019, one year after the first trainings, 34 people out of 42 beneficiaries have been able to set up organic sesame fields and benefit from post-training support. In addition, in some communes of the project, young people have started to formalize themselves into cooperatives in order to produce on a collective field bio-pesticides to be marketed for the coming season. Elsewhere, young people produce bio-pesticides or compost for sale in addition to their own use.
These are the first steps towards a more virtuous agriculture, adapted to the needs of men, women and the land, to which Acting For Life is proud to contribute.
Acting for Life has been coordinating the PROFILE YOUTH project in the Eastern region of Burkina Faso since 2018. A three-year project that aims to increase economic activity and provide local activity and employment opportunities for young people. In all, 900 young people are being supported to strengthen and diversify their skills in agro-sylvopastoral activities – cultivation of sorghum, cowpea, groundnuts or sesame; market gardening; fodder production for livestock – and also in trades related to agriculture such as fattening, masonry or carpentry.
SORGHUM CULTIVATION IN KANTCHARI
In Kantchari, 25 people, including 8 women, received practical training in sorghum cultivation. A total of 310 beneficiaries, including 100 women, took part this summer in a training activity on the cultivation of sesame, cowpea, sorghum and groundnuts in the Eastern region.
TENIMBALA – 32 YEARS OLD
Tenimbala is 32 years old and lives in the commune of Kantchari. He grows sorghum on his plot for his consumption and groundnuts, part of which is for sale. He also grows sesame and cowpea on less than 0,5 hectares, most of which he sells. He is satisfied with his production, the yield is increasing. In addition, Tenimbala uses agroecological techniques such as bio-pesticides and manure fertilization. He also practices sheep and goat fattening with an average of 5 animals fattened per year. He uses his income for health care and school fees, the purchase of agricultural and livestock equipment and for festivities. With the PROFIL project, Tenimbala wants to improve its production system and to start up agricultural entrepreneurship.
YENA – 18 YEARS OLD
Yena is 18 years old and lives in the commune of Liptougou. She grows peanuts and cowpeas on less than 1 hectare, 90% of which she intends to sell. In addition to these cereal crops, Yena also produces vegetables: she grows tomatoes on less than 2 hectares. Yena is the owner of her field and her farming activity allows her to reinvest her money in agricultural and breeding equipment, health care, school fees and clothing. Yena is one of the PROFILE beneficiaries because she wants to be trained on production techniques to improve her peanut and tomato production.
LAMOUSSA – 22 YEARS OLD
Lamoussa lives in the commune of Liptougou. She cultivates groundnuts and sesame on small surfaces and intends her production for sale. She also has a small vegetable production: on half a hectare she produces onion, cabbage and eggplant. She is the owner of her field. She also fattens sheep, which increases her annual income, which she reinvests in agricultural and breeding equipment, health care, school fees and clothing. She has also developed a hairdressing business. In order to develop its agricultural and livestock activity, Lamoussa needs access to training and inputs such as fodder. The PROFIL project will enable her to develop these skills and improve her farming and breeding activity.
PEANUT CULTIVATION IN BOGANDÉ
In Bogandé, 27 people, including 14 women, have been trained in peanut cultivation.
DAVIO – 29 YEARS OLD
Davio is 29 years old and lives in the commune of Bogandé. Davio grows sesame on his plot of land, which he almost entirely intends to sell. He also grows cowpeas and sorghum for the market and for his own consumption. In addition to his agricultural activities, Davio fattens about 5 heads of sheep per year and would like to develop this activity. He reinvests part of his income in agricultural and breeding equipment, health care and school fees for his family. Dario participates in practical training on groundnut cultivation and hopes to eventually develop this speculation on his plot.
At the same time, in Bogandé, Kantchari and Botou, 15 young people received training in small carpentry and materials to start an activity. Siméon 19 years old, Emmanuel 22 years old, Fidèle 19 years old and Yiénouyaba 20 years old were able to learn how to build beehives.
The PROFIL project allows all these young people to gain skills and diversify their income through new activities. By improving the social and professional integration of young people and promoting access to employment in rural areas, Acting for Life and its partners are contributing to the emergence of young people who play an active role in their development.
Pastoral and agropastoral resilience in the Sahel: Portraits of transhumance 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 (Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger) Brigitte Thebaud, Nordic Consulting Group in collaboration with ISRA-BAM and CIRAD Dakar (June 2017) [full version available in French only]