Project 3: Enhancement of Market Gardening and Produce Marketing, Dassa District, Burkina Faso.
Already recognised for the quality, consistency and variety of its market produce, Dassa district was selected for the second community development initiative at the Reo Project in Burkina Faso. Home to MDI’s exploration activities, the local authorities indicated support would be welcome in developing economic activities in a bid to reduce local reliance on artisanal mining activities which are dangerous for the people and harmful to the environment.
Consultations with the local producer cooperatives and their umbrella organisation highlighted the need for better access to water, seeds and inputs, and better marketing strategies and capabilities.
MDI’s partner NGO, Eau Vive, worked with the people of Dassa to implement the project activities, including the selection of four demonstration sites, the construction of four deep, lined market garden wells and installation of drip irrigation equipment on the four demonstration sites, the setting up of a revolving fund for seeds to be managed by the Market Garden Producer Association, along with extensive training and outreach activities touching all 50 cooperatives of the district.
The project included several meetings bringing together other stakeholders in the overall production chain, including low-cost suppliers of drip irrigation equipment and potential clients such as All Terrain Services, the company that caters to the nearby Perkoa zinc mine. The project also plans to construct a purpose-built pavilion within the existing market place to optimise the collaborative sale of produce.
Activities continue to support the producers of Dassa to build on these initial experiences.
This project was also co-funded by the Australian Government, via its trial collaboration with the Australia-Africa Mining & Energy Group (AAMEG) scheme, again administered by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Once again we are grateful for Australian Government support in what is a very worthwhile initiative.