Yidgiri’s "ReCom" Network Increases Sales for Farmers
Promoting Small Ruminant Fattening and Fodder Production
Burkina Faso is the second largest producer of livestock in the West African Economic and Monetary Union.* While the nation’s meat industry is large, its untapped potential means that producers lose out on higher sales. This trend can be reversed through the adoption of better practices, such as improved access to high-quality fodder and the use of proper fattening techniques. Currently, average animal weights in Burkina Faso are low: 110 kg per cattle, 9 kg per sheep and 8 kg per goat. These weights could be up to 40 percent higher, which would significantly increase producer sales and income.
Following an assessment of provincial and communal small ruminant producer unions in Burkina Faso, the USAID Yidgiri Activity found that fodder production and the application of fattening techniques is low among union members. To support producers in rural areas to close the weight gap, the USAID Yidgiri Activity partnered with the Regional Directorate of Animal Resources of Centre-Nord Region to train and deploy its network of “Relais Communautaire” (or “ReCom”). The ReCom share their knowledge and good practices with producer organizations (POs) and farmers through practical training, ensuring that information reaches farmers in remote areas.
ReCom assist POs and farmers to boost product quality, build enduring commercial relationships and increase their sales and income. ReCom are experienced producers, especially qualified women and youth, who are already members of a local producer organization. As peer trainers, ReCom have a strong understanding of their community’s needs and are well positioned to raise awareness about and improve access to resources and information. This includes quality fodder, efficient feeding techniques and information about disease prevention that are proven to increase farmers’ productivity. Through USAID Yidgiri’s intervention, ReCom trained more than 1,900 PO members (more than 25 members trained by each ReCom and 83 percent women).
Working with a network of ReCom to disseminate good agricultural practices, USAID Yidgiri is supporting and collaborating with existing institutions (POs, producer unions, regional directorates) to build resilient and self-sufficient networks of producers. By promoting the adoption of supplemental feeding and fattening techniques, ReCom are equipping their communities with tools to increase their incomes from livestock sales. As a result, farmers have higher incomes — $250 every four months, the duration of an animal fattening cycle — and are more resilient in the face of numerous crises facing Burkina Faso, all while increasing the supply of food to communities in need.
*Members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (also known by its French acronym, UEMOA) are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.