Professional Association of Market Gardeners in Yatenga (ASPMY)

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Professional Association of Market Gardeners in Yatenga (ASPMY)

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.

In a context where farmers’ inability to store produce after harvest unnecessarily leads to a “hungry season,” Lassane Savadogo has created an affordable and effective storage practice that is allowing families to not only feed themselves year round, but to also earn incomes double what is currently common during the off season.

About Project

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

Lassane Savadogo tries to initiate and promote technical and financial innovations that are accessible for producers, the majority of whom are small scale. After more than a decade of on the ground testing, Lassane has found two grassroots solutions that create effective and affordable storage for small farmers cultivating the most significant staple crops in relatively extreme year round conditions. The first solution widely replicable that Lassane has developed channels air through windows in an above ground small building, down a stairway into a three meter below ground cavern that sits next to (not below) the above ground structure. The cavern structure's length and width varies, depending on the amount of storage required. It requires a dimension of 6.2 by 3.5 meters of horizontal dimension and three meters of depth. Connected to the wall opposite the staircase is a horizontal vent that is connected to a separate shaft that is three and a half meters deep and has a diameter of half a meter. To fine tune the temperature inside the basement when surface temperatures are at their highest, Lassane puts a small amount of water in the base of the ventilation shaft and also uses small amounts of water to moisten the roof above the sub-surface basement. This cavern can be built for approximately US$ 7,000 and can store up to ten tons of potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes for six months. At 200 cfa per kg, a farmer earns between $3500 and $4000 for ten tons of potatoes. When the price of potatoes doubles off its seasonal low of 200 cfa per kg to 400 cfa per kg, the same ten tons has a market value of $7,000-$8000, and at the upper end of the price range during the hungry season, the value increases to $11,000-12,000. Farmers’ family economics vary, but Lassane has designed it in such a way that the incremental income from the cavern can return the equivalent of the capital cost of the cavern in two to three years. The second replicable solution is for the storage of onions. In outward appearance, the storage unit looks much like a traditional granary, but it is designed in such a way that it promotes air circulation, which is critical to keeping the interior of the granary at an acceptable temperature. The legs of the granary, for example, are hollow and made out of metal to allow air to circulate up through the floor. In the same way the wall of the granary is two walls, with 10 centimeters of space between the walls to channel the air inwards in a spiral. Design modifications to the roof allow air to escape upwards and prevent infrequent rain from entering. The granary he has developed is capable of storing three tons of onions for 4-6 months or one and a half tons for up to eight months, with a spoilage rate of not more than 6-8 percent. The financial model for the onions is similar in cost to that of the potato cavern with a $7,000 price tag for a version that will last ten years. Another version made out of 100% local materials can also be built for less than half that cost but Lassane’s test have found the durability of that structure is limited to three years.