15 April 2018

Eugenie and I have been back in Burkina for almost 2 weeks. April is the hottest and more difficult month here. During the day the temperature goes up to 42oC and at night it doesn’t go below 27oC.

April is also the month of the first rains. We have had one so far. A little water and the landscape changes with tree leafs cleaned from the dust and the beginning of some grass growing on the side of the roads.

No cash, and nothing to eat in some villages

The rains of 2017 where not long enough and we can feel the consequences in the villages are starting now. First, the cotton harvest was not good. The cotton company works only with groups of farmers. Those farmers have a group solidarity: if one of the members cannot pay back his credits to Sofitex, other members of the group have to pay for him. None of the farmers we talk to will receive any payment for their labor this year. Second, Burkina Faso is since 2016 one of the countries in Africa where the “fall armyworm” is active. It destroys mainly the corn plantation but also sorghum and millet. This means very low yield or no yield for farmers. Since corn is the main food in the country side, in some villages the famine has already started.

As so often, the authorities are very slow to react both in term of support to families but also to inform and advice for the next farming campaign which will start in a couple of months.

Diversifying income for families

There is only one rainy season in Burkina Faso. If your harvest is bad…….. We have been trying to support other types of activities than farming. In the village of Nefrelaye we have been able to support a group of women who are doing gardening in the dry season. We have also funded a lot of bee hives to have a revenue from the honey produced. The latest project we will start in 2018 is for cashew trees. We got funding for 7.500 grafted cashew trees.

Changes are always difficult, especially among farmers.

Weighing the honey harvested in Nefrelaye

Weighing the honey harvested in Nefrelaye









Gardens in Nefrelaye

Gardens in Nefrelaye









Drip watering system, using perfusion outlet for a field of new cashew nuts trees









Birds along the road











Joke of the week

A child asks his mother the question: “Where are we coming from?”. The mother answers: “We came from Adam and Eve”. The child, not convinced by her answer, asks the same question to his father. The father answers: “According to the theory of evolution, we came from the apes”. The child goes back to his mother and tells her about  the answer from his dad. To which the mother says: “ That is correct. My side of the family came from Adam and Eve, on your father’s side they came from the apes”.

Un enfant demande à sa mère “D’où venons-nous?”. La mère répond “Nous venons d’Adam et Eve”. L’enfant, non convaincu par sa réponse, pose la même question à son père. Le père répond: “Selon la théorie de l’évolution, nous venons des singes”. L’enfant retourne à sa mère et lui dit la réponse du père. Alors la mère dit: “C’est correct. Mon côté de la famille vient d’Adam et Eve, du côté de ton père ils viennent des singes”.

Have a good week,