Drought sparks farmers’ creativity in Burkina Faso

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    Rural Burkina Faso is battling more frequent and ever-longer droughts. The dry season, which traditionally lasted from mid-February to June, is increasingly extending into July and August, delaying the start of much-needed rainfall for planting.

    Crops frequently dry up or are attacked by insect pests, rendering most of the harvest useless.

    Farmers in the country’s northern PassorĂ© province are getting a helping hand through one-day “plant clinics”, which allow them to bring in damaged crops for a consultation.

    The initiative is part of the Building Resilience to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, supported by Britain’s Department for International Development.

    Erik Dirkx, who works for Welthungerhilfe, a German charity that, along with other partners, helped establish the plant clinic system, said the programme is gaining in popularity.

    “The plant clinics took a while to get off the ground but are starting to bear fruit,” he said. “The farmers we speak to appreciate getting expert advice that’s available to them locally.”

    In a country where over 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, persistent droughts also have big implications for hunger.

    Source: AllAfrica.com

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