May 24, 2011 – OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – The Professionalization of Agro-Input Dealers in Burkina Faso (PRODIB) project is being launched today in Ouagadougou. PRODIB will increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality agro-inputs in Burkina Faso. Among those taking part in the project launch were Dr. Abdoulaye Combary, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Agriculture, Water and Water Resources; Dr. Kehinde Makinde, Program Officer, Agro-Dealer Development of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Dr. André de Jager, Acting Director of IFDC’s North and West Africa Division; and Mr. Issiaka Sawadogo, President of the Agro-Input Wholesalers and Retailers of Burkina Faso (AGRODIA).
The goal of the PRODIB project is to increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of 375,000 smallholder farmers in the country. The three-year project (2011-2014) is funded by AGRA and implemented by IFDC in close collaboration with AGRODIA.
“Farmers in Burkina Faso and other Sub-Saharan African nations often lack access to modern agro-inputs, particularly improved seeds, mineral fertilizers and crop protection products,” stated Dr. Kehinde Makinde. “Agro-dealers are the key to getting quality agro-inputs into farmers’ hands.”
Dr. de Jager noted that “PRODIB will strengthen the ability of agro-dealers to create business linkages with input suppliers and extend their retail networks to more farmers.” He further stated, “About 800 agro-dealers across Burkina Faso will be trained by IFDC in product knowledge, safety and handling; salesmanship and marketing; business skills and financial management; logistics planning and delivery; and information and technology transfer to farmers.”
PRODIB will assist agro-dealers to access financing for business development through risk-sharing arrangements. Better financed, trained and certified agro-dealers will then be able to provide their farmer-customers with a wider range of products, technical advice on agro-input use and the promotion of sound agricultural practices through field demonstrations.
Agro-dealers will be encouraged to join AGRODIA, the main agro-dealer association in the country. PRODIB also will train AGRODIA staff in association management to serve members and customers effectively, lobby for policy reform and generate revenue for financial self-sufficiency.
AGRA is a dynamic partnership working across the African continent to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. AGRA programs develop practical solutions to significantly boost farm productivity and incomes for the poor while safeguarding the environment. AGRA advocates for policies that support its work across all key aspects of the African agricultural value chain – from seeds, soil health and water to markets and agricultural education.
IFDC is a public international organization that focuses on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise. IFDC is governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing countries. The nonprofit Center is supported by various bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments.
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