USAID Yidgiri Facilitates Cowpea Farmers’ Access to New Markets
To increase access to markets for cowpea producers, platforms are needed to build linkages between stakeholders across the cowpea value chain. With greater access to a range of inputs, the production process is made smoother, enabling producers to generate more profit from their goods as a result of higher quality and quantities. In Burkina Faso, the Feed the Future-funded USAID Yidgiri Activity supported the establishment of innovation platforms to help producers access new markets.
Innovation platforms are consultation frameworks that bring together stakeholders, such as cowpea producers, union leaders, input distributors and microfinance institutions to develop value chains, facilitating access to inputs and marketing. These are especially successful in connecting local producers with buyers.
Through an innovation platform meeting organized with the support of USAID Yidgiri in May 2022, the Provincial Union of Cooperatives of Cowpea Producers of Sanmatenga connected with Catholic Relief Services and agreed to deliver 84 tons of cowpea, worth a total of around $85,700 (approximately 57 million FCFA). By creating linkages like this in the cowpea supply chain, producer organizations can generate more resources for future agricultural campaigns and sell their products in higher quantity and quality.
Karfo Sawadogo, president of Wendkonta of Nagbingou, a communal union of simplified cooperatives, took part in one of these workshops. “I really appreciated this workshop because it allowed the groups present to get to know us better, to trust us and to help us reach a contract for the delivery of 50 tons of cowpeas at a price of approximately 706,000 FCFA per ton,” he said. This is the equivalent of $1,100 per ton.
For many union members, the innovation platforms are their first experience collaborating with international organizations, who typically offer a better price than what is offered on the market. “Thanks to this connection, we were able to quickly obtain a loan from Caisse Populaire to meet our expenses and respond to the call for tenders,” Sawadogo said.
Sawadogo expressed his appreciation for the workshops and hopes to attend more innovation platform meetings to continue building fruitful relationships that can improve the local cowpea value chain. In addition to supporting the cowpea value chain, USAID Yidigiri supports innovation platforms for the poultry and small ruminant value chains, hosting workshops in the Boulsa, Fada and Kaya communities.