The ECHO West Africa Impact Center seeks to extend the services of ECHO to help those working with the poor in West Africa to be more effective, especially in the area of agriculture. Functioning primarily as a technical support organization the Impact Center is helping community development organizations and workers operate more effectively.
ECHO's training focuses not only on agriculture, but on improving the living conditions of small-scale farmers, and we are interested in agriculture, health, food, environment, Income, etc. Our trainings are very practical and at the end of each session each participant is able to practice what he has learned and to train others.
Following the training campaign comes the period of follow-ups and evaluations. Our training teams traveled to almost all the localities where they gave training to follow up on the implementation of the techniques taught. So, for example, Bobo, Kouka, Solenzo, Bomboila, Koran, Dedougou, Djibo, Kayibo, Laye, Leo, Ourbono, Siby, Dakoro, Sanekui, Toma, and Tougan were followed and accompanied in the application of the various techniques taught By ECHO.
Hosting conferences and forums which offer training and networking opportunities to network members;
Facilitating regular regional workshops in West African countries, often in partnership with local organizations, to provide technical training and networking opportunities to the network;
Providing a wide range of technical resources through ECHOcommunity.org and from the office located in Burkina Faso;
Offering technical responses to network members inquiring with agriculture and community development questions;
Offering consultations to network members on a case-by-case basis;
Involvement in regionally important research and information dissemination.
K is a rural municipality located in the west of Burkina Faso. Ten years ago, an American missionary introduced Chaya which became a well-known and well-consumed leafy vegetable for the peasants of K. The peasants have made Chaya leaves a component of their diet which they consume in several different forms including leaf sauce, the leaves in peanut sauce, and they have incorporated it into other local dishes.
In K, humans are not the only ones that enjoy Chaya leaves. Goats and oxen are consuming Chaya, reducing the need for farmers to share other crops for fodder.
When asked if the Chaya had a good taste, the manager of the missionary's farm exclaimed, "If my wife makes you a peanut sauce made of Chaya leaves, you will agree that there's no better sauce than Chaya's sauce! "
"West Africa is a highly diverse region in terms of agro-climatic conditions and agricultural production potential, as well as with respect to the distribution of vulnerable populations. In general, the northern regions of coastal countries and the landlocked Sahelian countries are relatively food insecure and impoverished. Additionally, rapid urbanization in the region is leading to increasing numbers of urban poor. The population in this region is expected to grow 100 percent between 2010 and 2050, compared to the global growth rate of 38 percent. Population growth combined with low increases in productivity could further tighten resources and increase food insecurity.
Chronic undernutrition and food availability are core challenges to food security in West Africa. Critical gender concerns related to food security include the inability of women to hold on to land and to make decisions regarding household expenditure and consumption, as well as women having less capital than men.
There is ample evidence that the agriculture sector—which accounts for 35 percent of West African gross domestic product and 15.3 percent of regional export earnings—and in particular food staples, is the best engine for generating sustained, rapid and pro-poor economic growth." - Feed The Future
ECHOcommunity.org is the online collaborative membership community of ECHO, an international nonprofit organization. ECHO exists to reduce hunger and improve lives through agricultural training and resources. Working through regional impact centers around the world ECHO connects small-scale farmers, and those working to eliminate world hunger, with essential resources, and each other. These resources include a vast knowledgebase of practical information, experienced technical support and an extensive seedbank focused on highly beneficial underutilized plants.
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