Burkina Faso has some of the lowest human development indicators in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and income. This Sahelian country receives less than 24 inches of rain and droughts and desertification severely impact agricultural activities and the economy. Close to 80 percent of Burkina Faso's 17 million inhabitants are engaged in subsistence agriculture, but many lack access to modern farming techniques.
The Hunger Project has been working in Burkina Faso since 1997 and has been incredibly successful in empowering partners in 15 epicenter communities to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and lead self-reliant lives.
Increasing Food Production
The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso is committed to building the capacity of rural farmers through sharing new technologies and agricultural inputs.
Across all epicenters, The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso partners are increasing yields of up to 50 percent through the use microdose technology: the application of a small dose of fertilizer inserted directly into the seedbed. Not only is this method affordable to farmers, but it allows them to store stocks and sell them during the off-season when market prices are invariably higher. This is a best practice in increasing household incomes which is now being replicated in other Hunger Project program countries.
Increasing Access to Financial Institutions
Access to microloans is one of the most effective ways for Hunger Project partners in Burkina Faso to mitigate the harsh and arid environment of their landlocked country. A small loan can help a rural woman food farmer expand her income-generating activity, and as a result, increase her household income.
The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso has implemented a strong microfinance program. Through the program, women throughout Burkina Faso are becoming economic players in their households and effective leaders in their communities.
Through its Microfinance Program in the first half of 2012, The Hunger Project disbursed loans totaling $276,693. Partners in Burkina Faso deposited $329,389 in savings during the year. Of the 15 epicenters that are operating in Burkina Faso, four have government-recognized Rural Banks.