IMPROVED SORGHUM VARIETIES ARE FINDING NEW CHAMPIONS IN BURKINA FASO

50kg bags of sorghum for WFP order. Credit photo D. Inoussa, INERA

The Provincial Union of Agricultural Professionals Bemba Nayala supported by the HOPE II project, recently won a contract to supply 200 tons of sorghum to the World Food Program (WFP).

This was made possible due to the activities of the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE II) for Sorghum and Millets in sub-Saharan Africa project, says Dr Drabo Inoussa, millet breeder at the Institut de l’Environnement et Recherches Agricoles (INERA).

The project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been helping farmer organizations such as the union to work together with other key stakeholders in the fight against hunger and to improve the living conditions of small producers. The union also manages and distributes state-subsidized inputs (seeds and fertilizers) throughout the province, a mission entrusted by the Ministry of Agriculture of Burkina Faso.

The contract was awarded to the union at a recent fair on certified seeds organized by the Federation of Agricultural Professionals of Burkina Faso. The event helped small producers understand the importance of using certified improved seeds. Participants of the fair were briefed on seed production, and were provided guided tours to certified seed plots with popular improved varieties such as Kapelga (sorghum) and MISARI 1 (millet) throughout the province of Nayala.

Certified seeds exhibited at the fair. Photo: D Inoussa, INERA

The HOPE project spanning 11 countries focused on developing improved varieties and crop management practices to help smallholder farmers increase productivity under harsh, dry production environments in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Sorghum and millet production is helping communities in areas like Nayala in Burkina Faso achieve food self-sufficiency and beyond.

Project: Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE II) for Sorghum and Millets in sub- Saharan Africa
Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Partners: Institut de l’Environnement et Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Burkina Faso; Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), Mali; Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Usmanu Danfodiyo University of Sokoto (UDUS), Nigeria; Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Ethiopia; Department of Research and Development (DRD), Tanzania; National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI) of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), Uganda.

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