In Burkina Faso, precisely in Bobo-Dioulasso in the west of the country, there is the mask ceremony which is a cultural event that takes place every year in April. This is a ceremony during which masks representing several forms of animals are presented in the city. People come out in large numbers to enjoy this beautiful public ceremony. According to local beliefs, this ceremony gives people hope for life for the coming year.
In 2020, this traditional ceremony did not take place in April due to the coronavirus and containment measures. Fortunately, the coronavirus is much controlled in Burkina Faso since May and the traditional ceremony is currently held in June as you can see in the image below. It is therefore a ‘wind of hope’. We were able to benefit from it, being from a distance, despite the measures of social distancing still in force. What a great time!
So just like this ceremony, Team Agriterra Burkina Faso had also planned cooperatives assessing during April and May 2020 and activities with cooperatives already partners. Due to the health crisis, these Cooperative Assessments were started remotely with a mobilisation of the team and the example of several other Agriterra teams around the world. Planned activities with clients had also been postponed. And just like this mask ceremony, the decline of the corona disease and the removal of barrier measures has allowed us to reach our clients and potential clients.
Just like the joy of the people to be able to be with the mask ceremony, it was also for Agriterra Burkina a good wind of hope and an immense joy to be able to meet again UPPAH, one of our first cooperative clients in Burkina. It was an opportunity to discuss measures taken by the cooperative to fight the spread of the virus while ensuring agricultural production, to revisit the work done with the support of the corona help desk and to reschedule certain activities of the project with news targets. The discussions focused mainly on the mobilisation of inputs (maize seeds and fertilizers) for production.
In the west of the country it was an opportunity to complete the Cooperative Assessment with the UCRB cooperatives. A part of the assessment was already engaged remotely on distance, so this mission was shorter than the usual conventional missions. This was an opportunity to really discuss the cooperative commercial ambition and its reputation with its partners. Good prospects in sight with this cooperative!
During this Cooperative Assessment we were able to see the organisation, the bravery of the producers to continue to feed us despite this corona disease that has done a lot of harm.
On this rice-growing plain of Bama, women are very mobilised to accompany the production as every year. How to plow, how to transplant rice, how to maintain the fields, how to harvest rice, how to process rice through the technique of boiling, they decided to take the lead and are on the front lines from start to finish.
May this wind of hope blowing here in Burkina be for all of you!
Issouf Ouedraogo, business advisor Burkina Faso