In collaboration with APAF (Association de Promotion des Arbres Fertilitaires de l’agroforesterie et de la foresterie), since 2017 The Ivory Foundation has been supporting a project to enhance the value of the Yagma school grounds (1ha), in particular through agroforestry and the use of fertilizer trees.
The Yagma school opened in 2012. It is located in the Yagma Koudogo district, a new neighbourhood built on former farmland to rehouse victims of the 2009 floods that devastated several districts of Ouagadougou. It is a public school, which fills some of the shortage of places in the state school, which cannot accommodate all the children in the neighbourhood (the state school is 7km away). In 2017, the school welcomed 217 children aged 11 to 16.
So in 2017, on a 4,000m2 plot of land, entirely deserted around the school, and with the support of The Ivory Foundation, APAF took up the challenge of setting up a pilot agroforestry garden over 3 years. The aim of the garden is to change the children’s environment by providing them with a pleasant, green working environment, while at the same time raising their awareness of this innovative agricultural approach.
The goals of this project are to :
- To improve the nutrition of children, particularly the poorest, by enabling them to have lunch on site,
- To produce fresh vegetables, eggs and poultry on site to meet the needs of the canteen
- Generate additional income from the sale of vegetables to finance other needs (rice, pasta, sardines, oil, etc.), with the aim of achieving a self-sufficient system,
- In the medium term, to achieve energy self-sufficiency for the canteen, with the production of wood from the pruning of fertiliser trees,
- To create a model garden using agroforestry techniques, which could serve as an example for families living in the neighbourhood,
- To encourage young people to take up these organic and profitable growing techniques.
After 3 years, the results were not long in coming: a veritable garden forest has sprung up, with trees reaching up to 10 metres in height, making this site a pilot project on which to build to promote the benefits of agroforestry. Building on this experience, the people in charge of the garden are in turn training local women in agroecological techniques as well as nutrition, using teaching aids developed by The Ivory Foundation.