Summary Report; Master's Student Field Trip to Ouagadougou to Attend a Fair/Conference on Cowpea and Rice

September 3, 2021

On October 23, 24 and 25, 2020 the second round of "Promotional Days of Agricultural Potentialities of Burkina Faso" was held in Ouagadougou. The event was organized by the non-govermental organization NATURE FIRST in partnership with the Ministries of Agriculture and Trade. This activity is part of the implementation of action plans for the promotion of local products. NATURE FIRST has set an objective of establishing a platform that will bring together all the players in the agricultural world (agriculture, trade, and livestock) and above all to develop strategies to improve their skills. This second round highlights the potential of Burkina rice and cowpea in the context of security and health challenges. The concept was to showcase at least one Burkinabè Faso agricultural product through an exhibition fair, food tastings, conferences, and panels.


During the three days, several flagship activities were carried out, including: 1) the mission's visit to the Ministry of Agriculture; 2) the opening ceremony; 3) the inaugural conference on local products (cowpeas and rice); 4) panels on the questions of the role and importance of cowpea and rice from Burkina Faso in the diet of populations, highlighting the context of security and health crises; and 5) recommendations for the promotion the cowpea and rice sectors.


The conference was attended by more than one hundred (100) actors from all sectors. The theme was: "Certification and standardization: importance and steps for local products in Burkina Faso" developed by Dr B. Jean Paul KARAMA of the Burkinabè Agency for Standardization and Metrology (ABNORM). The communicator presented the importance of regulation in terms of certification of local products to better promote them both on the local and sub-regional markets. Then, the conference showed the importance of certification and standardization of local products in their valuation process.


Two panels were conducted on the second day. In the first, the theme was: "Role and importance of cowpeas and rice from Burkina Faso in the diet of populations in a context of security and health crises," presented by Dr. Ousmane Ouédraogo of MAAH. The panel was an opportunity for actors and experts to give their points of view, discuss the importance of Burkinabè rice and cowpea and take stock of the sectors. The communicator presented the food and nutritional situation in Burkina Faso, which remains alarming. We noted the absence of an effective intervention tool to support sustained agricultural production. Subsidy policies do not account for effects on crop diversification on farms.


In the second panel, Dr. Wilfred SOME of the 2APV Association presented on the theme "Health issues of food insecurity in Burkina Faso: Place of rice and cowpea.” In the opinion of the specialist, cowpea is the second food among the top 10 food (nutritional) groups for adults and one of the 7 important foods for children. In fact, cowpea has many advantages since it represents a “cheap” source of protein for both rural and urban populations and serves as a means of combating protein deficiencies.


As part of their trip, the students visited the Ministry of Agriculture. They met with the Director of Statistics of Ministry of Agriculture. The Director, Mr. KINDO, said he was delighted to receive the students and to be informed about the project. He promises to transmit mission information within the ministry and remains available for any need to achieve project objectives. Following a request on the part of students, the DGESS promised to bring in one of its agents to train us on the content of the EPA database (indicators and on the "Social Accounting Matrix" evaluation tool).


The students discussed with the representative of the Minister of Trade, Industry and Handicrafts, Mr. NAGABILA Boukary on the marketing of cowpeas and gathered interesting information. According to Mr. NAGABILA Boukary, in light of recurring problems with marketing local products, some measures have been taken to promote and encourage the consumption of local products by the public administration. These include, among other things, the directive to all ministers N ° 2017-002 / PM / SG / DGEF of January 13, 2017 about the consumption of local products by public administrations and the executive order N ° 2017-002 / PM / CAB / of January 31, 2017 requiring public organizations to purchase local food products as part of their supply. The local products affected by the order are rice, cowpeas, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sugar, cooking oil, green beans, milk and meat.


Also, according to the minister's representative, cowpea is promoted during events such as trade fairs, national and regional days, and fairs. We note that since January 2017, the dishes made from imported products that were served to guests in the menus of coffee breaks, lunch breaks, dinner-galas, dinner-debates, workshops, conferences, any official ceremony, etc., initiated by the public administration, are gradually giving way to local dishes entirely Burkinabè. Indeed, since May 3, 2019, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Handicrafts has estimated the financial amounts injected into the purchase of local products by public organizations for the years 2017 and 2018 at more than 30 billion FCFA.


The third and last day of the forum was marked by the award ceremony and Business to Business meetings between the actors of the cowpea and rice industries and participants.


Flyer for Promotional Days of Agricultural Potentialities of Burkina Faso.


The mission included  three MSc candidates advised by Dr. Engenie Maiga, University of Norbert Zongo, Koudougou, Burkina Faso (Left to Right):


Noel Kologo (topic : farm production and crop diversification)

Jeanette Bassole, (topic : nutrition and food production)

Maimouna Nanema  (topic : farm production by youth and women and cowpea commercialization)








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