Meet Moussa Ouedraogo, a farmer in Burkina Faso who is helping his family thrive through an agriculture program run by Catholic Relief Services.
Take a look inside Moussa’s story by watching this video of how CRS helps farmers in the poorest communities improve their harvests.
Photo by Regina Kane/CRSVIEW THE VIDEO
EXPERIENCE THESE STORIES
Recipe From Burkina Faso: Bean Cakes
Makes 4-5 servings
A tasty cake of black-eyed peas, onions and carrots served on rice.
My name is Moussa Ouedraogo and I live with my wife and seven children in Burkina Faso, a small country in West Africa.
Most of the people in our village are farmers, but because of poor rainfall, insects and other problems, it is difficult to produce enough food. Often we can only grow enough to last 7 or 8 months of the year. We call the rest of the year “the lean season.”
Several years ago CRS helped us set up an irrigation system in a plot of land near the village.
We divided this land into small gardens for different farmers in the village. With CRS’ help we formed committees to keep our irrigation system in good repair and to manage our water and seed supplies. In my garden I grow corn and onions. I am now able to grow enough food for my family’s needs and also have produce to sell at the market. Life is much better. With the money I earned in the market, I bought two donkeys and a plow to help me farm more efficiently. I am able to send all of my children to school, and I just built a new house. Like the others in my village, I have always wanted to provide a good life for my family. With the help of CRS, this dream has come true.
In your prayer this week, ask Jesus to show you the areas that most tempt you to follow your own agenda over God’s plan for you. Ask for the grace to break the hold those temptations often have over you. Make this the work of your Lenten fast. Read more.
Facts to Consider
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 181 out of 187 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Before the Lelegse market gardening project came to Moussa’s village, many farmers were only able to grow enough food for 7 or 8 months and suffered from hunger during the dry season. Now, farmers are more resilient and are able to produce enough food to feed their families for the entire year.
- Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main activities in the village of Lelegse. Farmers typically grow millet and sorghum as their basic food crops and peanut, cowpea and bambara nut as secondary crops.
- As a result of poor rainfall, soil degradation, high population density and inadequate agricultural practices, farmers are often unable to produce enough food to feed themselves and their families for the entire year.
- Alternatives for earning money are often limited. Many farmers migrate to neighboring countries to find work.
- CRS helped to establish a small irrigated plot of land in Lelegse that the local population could use to practice new planting techniques. The plot is managed by three committees comprised of local farmers and community members: (1) the water supply and management committee, (2) the motor pump repair and management committee and (3) the seed supply committee.