This is the last blog for this trip. Back in The Netherlands on Tuesday and I will spend Christmas with Eugénie and Claire in Boston. Next trip to Burkina Faso should be mid-February.
Improving harvest yields by improving the quality of the soil
The soil in Burkina misses a lot of organic matters. This could be changed if the farmers were to use compost on their fields.
They all know that, and they all know how to make compost, so why are they not doing it? The only logical reason I can see is the actual difficulty to make it. The way they have been taught (in a pit or on the ground) needs heavy manpower and water. It takes around 2 months to have a proper compost and the volume that a farmer can do is limited and thus helps only a small surface of their farm. Since farmers do not have a long term vision, they seldom produce compost.
One possibility is to industrialize the production of the compost. There is a factory in Mali close to the border of Burkina. Compost produced there is sold in Burkina.
One bag of 50kg is sold at 17 euro in comparison with 25 euro for a chemical fertilizer. Yield can increase from 20 to 100% by using compost. However, you need at least 10 times the volume of compost versus chemical fertilizer. For poor farmers to have access to such compost it would have to be subsidized.
We have started to produce a compost drum. Many examples can be found on internet. This will be good only for gardening, mainly for women. It is very easy to use and It takes only 3 weeks to have about 50kg of compost ready to be used. The modified plastic drum costs only 55 euro and can last many years.
Interested to sponsor a drum? Contact us.
Some pictures from the LAP
Birds on the way
Citations of Victor Hugo
Better a quiet conscience than a prosperous destiny. I like a good sleep better than a good bed.
We only suffer from the harm done to us by those we love. The evil that comes from an enemy does not count.
I wish you all a healthy and peaceful New Year.