Terra Madre, the first meeting of the communities of Western Africa, will be held on the 3rd and 4th February in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, It will be organised by Slow Food Foundation for Biodoversity in the framework of the initiative for the right to food promoted by 28 bank foundations associated with Acri.
“ On the 3rd and 4th of February Terra Madre Burkina Faso will present the result of many hard years of work"- as reported in a press release of the organisation - "This work has led us to know and catalogue the country's local products, to involve the communities of food, to create two “sentinels”, to create about 120 community and school gardens and to fight, next to other organisations, against the use of GMO”.
The event of the 3rd and 4th of February in Ouagadougou will see the participation of producers of two new Presidia from Burkina Faso: red rice from Comoé and the Arbollé yam variety. Slow Food Presidia are projects sustaining quality production at risk of extinction; protect unique regions and ecosystems; recover traditional processing methods, safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties.
“Slow Food’s network in Burkina Faso tries to put at the centre the importance of local products and production techniques in order to safeguard extraordinary products and traditions, born from a great mixture of ethnicities and cultures”, said Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food. “The time has come for Burkina Faso to reflect on its agricultural, gastronomic and traditional heritage in a new way, with pride. This pride can be found by Burkina Faso by turning its back on a Western approach that scorns subsistence agriculture, degrading it as wretched and recognizing development only where profits are accumulated. There are new paradigms now, and it is no longer necessary to replicate all the mistakes of the old West in order for the country to find its own path forward.”, concludes Petrini.
Starting in 2010 Slow Food has worked in Burkina Faso on two great projects: the creation of a network of community and school gardens, in the framework of the project 10,000 Gardens in Africa, and the mapping of local products from Burkina Faso. These two projects further strengthened in 2014 thanks to the initiative “Fondazioni for Africa Burkina Faso”, a project financed by ACRI Foundations in cooperation with various Italian NGOs. Over recent years a good network of activists developed. This network enabled to identify the first local products at risk of extinction, create a network of gardens ( that now amount to 124) , and exchange experiences, engaging to safeguard biodiversity and to affirm the right to food sovereignty.