AEI Phase IV

Lead Organization:

Groundswell International

Partner Organizations:

Groundswell West Africa, NGO ANSD, Institut National pour l’Environnement et des Reserches Agricoles (INERA), Association Minim Sông Pânga–Burkina (AMSP), leading farmers’ organizations, local NGOs, and projects Sahel IPM and 3F

Community of Practice:

West Africa


Burkina Faso




Since 2012, this project has worked with farmers and their organizations to identify, test, and disseminate proven combinations of agroecological innovations to promote AEI in Burkina Faso’s north central, east central, and eastern regions. This was undertaken in response to the malnutrition, poverty, lack of resources, etc. identified by a participatory diagnosis of the food system. The main contributing factors were low soil fertility, erratic rainfall, and harmful agricultural practices.

To date, more than 17,000 households comprising 104,000 people now integrate crops, livestock, and trees into their agricultural systems per these efforts. Areas implementing various combinations of agroecological innovations ranged from 2.4 ha to 3.7 ha per household, each experiencing an average increase in revenue from $130 to $929 and in yield from 166.6 to 1,000 kg/ha. Subsequently, more than 70 percent of households now consume diversified food. Through the promotion of various agroforestry methods, 13 species of trees have been reintegrated to help regenerate barren land, and soil health is improving. Women farmers, one of the targeted populations, are employing AE in their own plots, increasing and diversifying their incomes.

Knowledge gaps remain, specifically: 

  1. Compost applied in most farms is poorly decomposed and less effective. This phase will explore options to improve its quality. 
  2. Combinations of agroecological innovations increased density and diversity of macrofauna and microbial activity for soil fertilization. This phase will continue evaluating soil health to learn more about soil regeneration.
  3. Tree species integrated into farm plots improved sorghum yields and soil carbon content. Farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR) of trees is primarily focused on juvenile trees/regrowth. The consortium seeks to understand the impact of this practice on crop yield and soil health. 
  4. The plan is to further analyze the co-variation between the application of combinations of agroecological innovations by households and level of resilience.
  5. The consortium identified several varieties of peasant seeds adapted to different rainfall contexts, an asset in the face of climate change. This phase seeks to find sustainable mechanisms for collecting and managing these seeds to increase their availability. 
  6. To boost agroecological scaling, the consortium envisions identifying an efficient system for production, conservation, processing, and marketing of agroecological, non-timber forest products that generates income for households, women, and youth. 
  7. Scaling, although significant, remains insufficient to achieve transition at a territorial level. The consortium  seeks to share interventions with new municipalities and look for socio-organizational innovations capable of promoting scaling at the municipal and regional levels. 
  8. More local NGOs and farmer organizations are converting to AE. Several international institutions (FAO, 3AO, and AFSA) now support it. The consortium seeks to work in tandem with farmer organizations and other interested actors to advocate for further scaling.

Grant Aims:

The overall objective for Phase IV is to co-create with farmers a food system that is economically, socially, and environmentally viable, and resilient to climate change. This includes improving food security, nutrition, income, and soil health for farmer households while applying a gender equity lens that will create positive impacts for women and youth. 

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Identify combinations of climate-resilient, agroecological innovations through a participatory process for efficient integration of crops, trees, and animals into farming systems.
  • Strengthen the capacities of households and women’s organizations to improve the conservation, processing, and consumption of diversified and nutritious local foods.
  • Identify and connect organizations involved in the production, processing, and marketing of agroecological products for improved access to local markets.
  • Strengthen capacities of farmers’ organizations at municipal and regional levels to advocate for the scaling up of agroecological food and farming systems.

Outputs and Outcomes:


  • Seven inter-village organizations developing and implementing action plans promoting A
  • Seven farmers’ organizations developing and implementing advocacy plans
  • Five decentralized planning bodies putting more resources into promotion of AE
  • Technical and administrative services agents supporting farmers’ organizations in implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of agroecological innovations
  • At least 1,000 new households applying at least one innovation combination integrating animals, crops, and trees in current intervention villages
  • At least 3,000 households applying at least one innovation combination integrating animal crops and trees in 18 new villages
  • FRNs meeting annually and conducting collaborative activities to achieve shared goals
  • At least six students involved in research activity relevant to project implementation


  • New options integrating crops, trees, and animals available for different categories of households
  • Evidence generated for these innovations’ capacity to improve soil’s ability to sequester carbon and initiate microbial activity
  • Agroecological and non-timber forest products generating more income for households implementing AE
  • Identification of and support for organizations active in production, conservation, processing, and marketing of agroecological products
  • Effective methods for conservation and processing of agroecological and non-timber forest products identified and promoted to various actors
  • Various actors involved in AE at different levels of food system having functional information system and marketplace where they can communicate their respective needs or promote sale of agroecological products and bioinputs
  • Sales sites dedicated to marketing of agroecological products available at municipal level
  • Supported farmers’ organizations developing and implementing action plan for promoting AE
  • Supported farmers’ organizations having access to financial analysis tools
  • Agroecological promoters trained and supported in each village within intervention zone
  • Each village within intervention zone developing formal structure promoting AE
  • Each community within intervention zone having autonomous inter-village organization disseminating agroecological innovations