Because of a continuing crisis across the Sahel, the inability to meet food and nutrition needs is a top concern in Burkina Faso. People living in regions of the West African nation affected by climate-related shocks and armed conflict face an even higher risk of food insecurity.

A scene from cowpea and sorghum production techniques training, June 2021

To tackle this challenge in the Centre-Nord Region of Burkina Faso, the Victory Against Malnutrition Plus (ViMPlus) Activity is helping build resilient, sustainable livelihoods for improved economic wellbeing. The five-year ViMPlus Activity, which is funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, aims to strengthen the capacity of households to access much-needed resources, such as food and financial capital, which contribute to food security.

Now in its fourth year of operation, the ViMPlus Activity continues to work closely with members of local producer organizations, farmer extension and support councils, and cooperative societies. One such member is Hamidou Ouedraogo (not his real name).

Hamidou is an agricultural producer and member of a paysan vulgarisateur et d’appui conseil (PAVAC), or farmer extension and support council, within the sorghum value chain société coopérative simplifies (SCOOPs), or simple cooperative societies. He is also a head of household in the village of Kamsandin in the Rollo commune of Bam Province. Hamidou received support from the ViMPlus Activity to improve seed cultivation and increase his agricultural production levels.  

“I used to suffer a lot in my efforts. Now the farmers know the benefits of adopting improved seeds and good agricultural practices. I would like to express my satisfaction and gratitude to the ViMPlus Activity for its support in improving the resilience of farmers.”

Hamidou Ouedraogo, PAVAC member and sorghum producer

As a PAVAC member, Hamidou completed training with ViMPlus on agricultural production techniques and the cropping calendar for sorghum. He set up a demonstration plot, which he continues to use to share what he learned with other farmers. During the most recent crop season, the demonstration plot of 100 square meters produced 18 kilograms of improved sorghum, compared to eight kilograms of local sorghum. A model farm of one-quarter hectare set up by the PAVAC and its contract farmers allowed for the harvest of 275 kilograms of improved sorghum, when they had forecasted 225 kilograms.

Despite the pockets of drought that Hamidou’s village of Kamsandin experienced, crop yields exceeded the forecast, demonstrating the effectiveness of the production techniques and the cropping calendar used by PAVACs. “When we were preparing the land for planting, the neighbors were already growing theirs,” Hamidou said. “But we harvested while the neighbors were still waiting. We exceeded the expected yield, despite the poor rainfall.” One hundred kilograms of this yield will be reserved as seed for the next crop year. The rest will be used for household consumption.

“The other producers were surprised by the quantity of production despite the bad season. This is to say that we have a lot to gain by adopting the good agricultural practices of the project’s technicians in order to considerably improve our production.”

Hamidou Ouedraogo, PAVAC member and sorghum producer

The ViMPlus Activity builds on the proven success of ViM by not only expanding its market systems approach to new regions but also adding interventions focused on sustainability, governance, disaster risk management, and more.

Learn more about the Victory Against Malnutrition Plus Activity.

Learn more about our work in Burkina Faso.