DFCD partners with a social enterprise to build climate-resilient agro-forestry in the Sahel region
Climate change is a challenge across the African Continent and a real threat to the existing rainforests. Burkina Faso is one of the countries at the centre of some of the extreme effects of climate change.
Nonetheless, Solvert company is right at the heart of solving such challenges by promoting smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change by fostering inclusive regenerative agroforestry systems and building a climate-resilient agroforestry production system in the Sahel region.
Smallholder farmers are at the forefront of the adverse effects of climate change. Still, Solvert, a for-profit social enterprise with producers organised in cooperatives as shareholders, is ready to change the narrative. The company, which buys neem fruits from rural women, and processes them for sale as biological inputs - biopesticides and biofertilisers; is targeting to replace Burkina Faso's import of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This will go a long way in contributing to sustainable and resilient agriculture that helps farmers adapt to climate change.
'Solvert was the premier Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) project in SNV Mali later last year, and we are optimistic that its success will open more opportunities for us in the region', Tigere Muzenda, the DFCD Africa Investment officer, says.
After successful onboarding processes, the company led by Hugo Verkuijl, CEO of MBSA and Executive board member Solvert SARL, in the company of Albert Bokkestijn (DFCD Project Manager), signed the agreement for 18 months.
'This partnership will see the DFCD provide an Origination Facility Investment of Euro 200,000 to Solvert that will see the company develop its processing capacity to market quality products that meet farmers' expectations', Albert Bokkestijn says.
By the end of these 18 months, Hugo is optimistic that the company will confirm the business case and:
Increase and diversify the market for organic inputs,
Increase and diversify our biofertiliser product line (adding value to agro residues such as bioslurry, shea nut residues, etc.),
Carry out demonstrations and training for smallholders farmers,
Confirm smallholder business case with the Farm Tree Tool,
Finalise organic certification process,
Promote and introduce oil seed trees in agroforestry systems, and
Develop a digitised supply chain with women's cooperatives.
With time, they will then increase their production capacity in Leo and restart our production factory in Mali; and beginning the year 2026 onward, expand to Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Niger.
'Our objective is to supply organic inputs to smallholders on 100.000 ha by 2030 over the next ten years', Hugo concluded.
Visit DFCD supports social enterprise in the production of biopesticide and biofertiliser for more information.