Women farmers restore degraded land

Women farmers restore degraded land

After being expelled from land classified as a protected area, women farmers were given degraded land in exchange. These women formed an alliance to restore natural resources and share their knowledge and experience.


In the province of Nahouri, near the Nazinon River, an area was reserved for endangered wildlife. The people living in this area were expelled, including the Ziou people, whose women, members of the “Wend Panga Union”, were allocated 50 hectares of degraded land after being dispossessed of their rich, fertile lands.


A programme of activities was implemented to restore the degraded land, increase production and regenerate vegetation. This involved agroforestry, reforestation, using stone barriers, improved seeds and suitable fertilisers. Training sessions, communication activities and public awareness campaigns were also carried out including radio programmes on climate change in local languages. Their experience was also shared with farmers in Burkina Faso and Ghana.


  • Improved agricultural productivity: maize production increased from 200 kg/ha to 4 tonnes/ha; cowpea from 25 kg/ha to 1 tonne/ha; sesame from 800 kg/ha to 1.2 tonne/ha
  • Increased local consumption and 50% of production used to establish food stocks; the remaining 50% made available for sale on the market in Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries (Ghana, Togo, Niger)
  • Increased savings and investment in sheep or cattle
  • Improved habitat and living conditions

Success factors

  • Determination, ingenuity and hard work
  • Patience in achieving results and impact
  • Access to technology
  • Monitoring, support and advice


  • This practice has already been duplicated by a neighbouring farmers’ organisation and other organisations aim to restore degraded land in their communities.
  • The techniques are accessible and inexpensive. The cost of a manure pit is estimated at approximately XOF 50 000 (USD 110), which corresponds to the price of five bags of maize. The cost of the nursery is estimated at XOF 500 000 (USD 1 100).
  • The initiative is profitable but uses extensive human labour. Activities such as collecting stones, laying stone barriers and spreading manure are carried out by family.


  • Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF)
  • Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA)


  • The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through its Support Fund for Local Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change (FSSA): IDRC/FSSA
  • Agricultural technical services providing support (MAAH/SDT)
  • The Federation of Agricultural Professionals of Burkina Faso (FEPAB, national umbrella organisation)

Find out more

  • Confédération paysanne du Faso
  • Case study: Adapting to climate change and restoring degraded land
  • Fact sheet: Adapting to climate change by restoring degraded land; Association for the promotion of fertiliser trees (APAF)


  • Mr Seydou Ouédraogo, Agricultural producer, trainer and member of the CPF administrative board: cpf@fasonet.bf, ouedsey22@gmail.com
  • Ms Marie Sia, Agricultural producer and president of the « Wend Panga » Union in Ziou: cpf@fasonet.bf


  • Burkina Faso


  • Agriculture & value chains
  • Climate, climate change & adaptation
  • Employment & revenues
  • Governance & capacity-building
  • Natural resource management


  • Vulnerable small-scale farmers
  • Women

Agir Pillars

  • Pillar 3: Sustainably improve agricultural and food productivity and the incomes of the most vulnerable households and improve access to food


  • Local

Sustainable development goals

SDG 1 SDG 2 SDG 5 SDG 13