Faced with difficulties in accessing inputs, cowpea producers in the Central region of Burkina Faso, supported by Fert, wanted to develop an input savings scheme within their cooperatives. This system was inspired by the successful experience of the Pissila Scoop, with which the producers exchanged information.

In Burkina Faso, many farmers face difficulties in accessing quality inputs. Cowpea producers organized into cooperatives, particularly in Yako and Sanmentenga, have set up input savings schemes. Given the success of these schemes, Fert proposed that members share their experience with cowpea producer organizations from the Union régionale des coopératives du Centre.

In 2020, numerous exchanges were organized between the Pissila Scoop in Sanmatenga and Scoops in the Centre region to present the system and answer their many questions.

The input-savings scheme

Convinced by this system, several organizations wanted to use it as a model for their own POs. The Komsilga Scoop, for example, has trained relay farmers to collect the needs of producers in terms of quantity of inputs and to collect savings throughout the agricultural season.

“Each producer member gives an estimate of her needs according to the area to be treated. This estimate is recorded in her “saver’s book”, which she has previously purchased. During the collection period, the heads of the supply committees and the collectors meet in the commune to take stock and pay the money into an account created by the cooperative for this purpose.”

Françoise Yameogo, in charge of the Scoop Komsilga’s input supply committee.

Linking with input suppliers

The success of the input-savings scheme also depends on a partnership with an input supplier.

Fert’s teams put the cooperatives in touch with input suppliers, and consultations between members of the different cooperatives of the Union régionale des coopératives du Centre were organized to select a supplier.

After negotiations to validate the terms of the agreement and define the desired quantities of inputs, the supplier delivered 2.5 tons of fertilizer to 66 cooperatives. Each cooperative supply manager was responsible for distributing the inputs to producers.

A winning collaboration

The cooperatives of the Union Régionale des Coopératives du Centre are very satisfied with this system:

“At the end of the agricultural season, at the level of each village, we carry out an assessment of the savings system and the use of fertilizer. This assessment is also done at the regional level. We are proud to have been able to build and implement initiatives for the joint resolution of our problems.”

And the input supplier also has some advantages:

“This collaboration has been beneficial for ADS Burkina and for the cooperatives in terms of quality assurance and delivery times. Thanks to the grouped orders, we were able to offer competitive prices. This collaboration with the cooperatives has allowed us to create a job within our company and has given us more visibility in the Central region.”

The Fert team is continuing its support to ensure the viability and sustainability of the services developed by the POs, such as the supply of inputs. These services, which are provided by the producers themselves, allow them to manage their activity more serenely and improve their income.