Agence CORADE (Conseils Recherche-Action Développement d’expertises)

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Agence CORADE (Conseils Recherche-Action Développement d’expertises)

Burkina Faso
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Guilla Gifty is facilitating small farming families to become more self-aware by guiding them to create a “Balance Sheet of Personal Competencies,” an exercise for farmers to reflect on their families and businesses and become more effective. In addition to developing this exercise, Guilla gathers farmers in supportive groups for sharing ideas and support, thus helping them create more efficient enterprises. Guilia’s support groups build individualized action plans for improved family and cultivation practices, ultimately empowering small farming families to change the economic landscape for local farming communities. Through these farmer networks, farmers are also emboldened to apply pressure on their governments to introduce policy reform that considers local farmer’s needs. Launched as a pilot in 2007-2008, Guilla is now completing a quantitative evaluation of the pilot’s impact in five different parts of the country, with farmers from diverse cultures who are engaged in unique cultivation practices. Guilla is looking to extend this approach beyond small farmers to government officials working in agricultural extension. To increase her capacity and further tailor her approach to other groups who impact on the lives of small farmers, she is collaborating with the University of Ouagadougou and a regional association of professionals specializing in water management.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Guilla believes that the key to unlocking productivity gains among small farmers is creating trust based groups that allow small farmers the space for self reflection. She challenges small farmers in a safe collective space to ask: “Who am I?” and listen to their own answers. This process helps to set in motion a transformation among farmers, first from self-discovery, to a self-assessment, and then to a mode of mobilization solidified by the creation of a family action plan. By providing an avenue for dialogue and reflection, Guillia opens the doors for small farmer families to move forward together in creating group innovation, and collaborative family enterprises. In each case, the process is designed for a small group of farmers and their families (typically 7-10 families). Through making this process a group effort, articipants can also gain support internally from their families, and externally from other members who are moving through the same steps. These sessions become the space for new ideas, with farmers guiding each other and aspiring to improve many facets of their enterprises. Together, farmers evolve their farming operations (more efficient planning of planting and follow-up), they enhance their knowledge (for example, deciding to enroll in agricultural courses about water management and crop cultivation), and they adopt new technologies (better seed varieties and the use of manure for organic compost). Farmers are also encouraged to reflect upon and change their personal family dynamics, such as working on their family relations (opening up communications between husband and wife and in polygamous families, among the husband and his several wives), and their self-discipline and self-confidence (learning how to ride a bicycle, or deciding to enroll their children in the local school).