Martine and Jean-Baptiste OUEDRAOGO lives in Boutiourou five km from Leo in Sissili province. They are married with their six children and live off their farm.
Each year their farm produces a large maize harvest which they consume and sell, in addition, the family grows soy, cotton, sorghum, millet and beans. Martine also plants peanuts to sell.
Before they installed the biodigester in December 2012, Mr Ouedraogo used chemical fertilizer to improve productivity in his farm, He used three bags of fertilizer and a bag of urea for a hectare of maize. This would cost him 94 Euros and would result in a harvest that would fill three-quarters of his granary.
After the installation of the biodigester, Jean-Baptiste and Martine participated in biodigesters use and maintenance, and bio-slurry use training sessions. Thanks to this training and with the guidance of the agents of the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Food Security of Sissili, Jean-Baptiste has used only bio-slurry compost to enrich his maize crop in the last year. For the first time in his farming career, he has managed to fill his granary and have a stockpile of maize which allowed him to feed his family for six months without touching their reserve stock.
In order to diversify their food production and sources of income, the household has set up a vegetable garden where they grow tomatoes, eggplant, pepper and onions. This garden is monitored with the assistance of an agriculture officer, as this is the first attempt that the Ouedrago household has undertaken in growing vegetables for sale. For Jean- Bapiste, the vegetable gardening has been an interesting and rewarding venture despite the challenges that their area faces, for example inadequate access to water for irrigating the vegetables, which poses a risk of rendering vegetable gardening unsustainable.
Another change that Martine is very appreciative of is the introduction of the biogas technology that has seen the reduction of her usage of firewood as a source of fuel, as she in now using biogas for cooking.
Moreover, her children can now study properly in the evenings thanks to light from the biogas powered lamp. The family has dedicated a space on the business premises where children can study every evening and also welcome other children in the village. The space is also used for family meetings and get-togethers.
Ever since the installation of the biodigester, the Ouedraogos’ receive many visitors from the village and the surrounding areas who are keen to know more about the biodigester. Jean-Bapiste has become a champion for biogas in his locality as he also visits other households that have installed the biogas plant which gives him and other famers the opportunity to share the experiences and to discuss ways to further optimize use from their plants.