With a view to finding solutions to Burkina Faso’s development problems, the government is committed to financing innovative projects that address the major concerns of the population. This led to the creation of the Fonds national de la recherche et de l’innovation (FONRID). Given the limited national resources available to achieve this objective, partners such as the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) were called upon to help meet the challenges.
With IDRC’s support, nine innovative projects were financed, notably in the fields of health, agriculture, and value chains for local products. After several months of implementation, the results of these projects were presented at a workshop.
Among these Science Granting Council Initiative (SGCI) projects is that of Dr Julienne Gué, entitled “Valorisation de la chaîne de valeur “feuilles” de Hibiscus cannabinus (kénaf). This project aims not only to increase the supply of “babinda” and “kanzaga”, all local Burkinabe delicacies, but also to boost the incomes of producers and merchants alike.
“Traditionally, it’s women who grow kenaf. And to empower women, it was only natural that we should support this value chain. Especially since the Institut de l’environnement et des recherches agricoles (INERA) has developed varieties that are better adapted to the ecology of different regions,” said Dr Julienne Gué.
We want to export it because there is a strong demand for these leaves from our diaspora”, Dr Julienne Gué, coordinator of the project “Valorisation de la chaîne de valeur “feuilles” de Hibiscus cannabinus (kénaf)”.
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Towards the export of “babinda
It was with this in mind that a sort of value chain approach was introduced, she explains, with a view to supporting the production of certified seeds and training women in drying techniques. Mould causes them to lose a lot of leaves.
According to Dr Julienne Gué, these women have also been equipped to process the leaves through local cooking practices and the preparation of “babinda” and “kanzaga”. The project coordinator has high hopes of exporting these nutrient-rich leaves to provide even more business opportunities for these valiant women who fight for their families. Already, five formulas based on these leaves have been tested and introduced into cans,” she confides.
Strong demand for project financing through FONRID
According to FONRID General Manager Babou André Bationo, since the creation of the national research and innovation financing structure, some 210 projects have been financed out of more than 2,000 applications registered.
“FONRID was created for all Burkinabè, including the private and public sectors, individuals and associations […]”, Babou André Bationo, Managing Director of FONRID.
Mr. Bationo emphasized that FONRID’s medium- and long-term objective is to become the leading funder of research and innovation in Burkina Faso.
Mr. Bationo was also keen to point out that FONRID covers all the themes that are important for the country’s development. He expressed the hope that national partners would become involved in financing the projects.
The country, already hard hit for decades by the adverse effects of climate change, has for some years now been experiencing a security crisis which is having a negative impact on its development. According to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Research and Innovation, Pr Samuel Paré, all these scourges, and many others call for research to be placed at the heart of warning and anticipation systems.
And this, with a view to better decision-making by decision-makers and grassroots communities.
In addition to the government grant, FONRID must therefore play an active role in mobilizing financial resources at national and international level, to increase its capacity to finance innovative projects. It is in this respect that the partnership with IDRC, which has enabled the funding of nine research and development projects since 2018, has been positively appreciated by the ministry in charge of research and innovation.
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First published in lefaso.net. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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