16 October 2016
In some low ground, there is still some water where lilies open in the morning.
Village development dilemma
This week I met with the head of the agricultural research of Burkina. In the meeting we discussed about the difficulties that a village has to develop.
For him, and I agree with him, a young villager cannot develop in his own village. There are too many forces which kill any possibility of development.
I have already mentioned the fact that a villager cannot start a small business in his own village. It is the same for a villager whom has received some training. If he stays in his village he will never be able to apply what he has learned. Traditions and family organization will force him back to do what the others are doing.
The innovators are always fought until enough people are convinced of the innovation and can protect it.
Helping for education and for health care is very important, but what is missing is the “change of mind/mentality” of the villagers. Understanding that changes can be good.
We have not yet found the way to promote these ideas.
The utopia of small family farms
When you look for funds, you can very quickly find out that project for women and kids are more “sexy” than projects for men.
Another topic which seems to be liked by the large donors is “support to small family farming”. Why? Probably because it goes against the large farms with a lot of mechanizations we have today in developed countries.
I agree that those big farms are not good, but there is a middle ground between 100 Ha and 4 ha farms!!
Can a family of 10 be able to live off 4 ha of land? Taking into account the resources of the small farmers and the quality of its land, it is impossible. This is also true in developed countries; why should it be different in Africa. Another difference between Africa and Europe is the subsidies a farmer gets in Europe, which are not available in Africa.
Anyway between difficulties to develop and not adapted policies from large donors… villagers are not out of the woods yet.
Maintenance of public buildings
During the rainy season there is little care given to public buildings.
It is only when the children come for the new school year that they will clean the yard and sometimes the classes.
When we visited the “maison de la femme” of Nefrelaye this week and while we were waiting, Jean François, our consultant, decided to force the men of the village to clean the women’s house. He was successful. The men made some type of duster with a stick and a rag and the house was spotless when we left.
Children of Kouekouesso (B school). Since some of the personnel of primary school is still on strike, children come to school, but spend the time outside the school.
Proverbs of the week
Quand l’intelligence épouse la chance, elles enfantent la réussite
When intelligence marries luck, success is born
Cherche ta vie, ne cherche pas la vie.
Do not seek life in general, seek yours.
Until next week.