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Farmers Find a Sustainable Alternative to Industrial Farming in Burkina Faso

Bilanga, Burkina Faso - Facing a towering wall of yellow stalks bowing under the weight of grain, Lankoande Francois swings his machete and the drying strands fall to the ground. His wife follows close behind. Her feet crackling the kernels as she swiftly leans in to the gather dark brown beads of sorghum that will feed their family. The midday heat has reached 40C and the light is harsh. There is little shade under the trees' scorched, outstretched branches. Lankoande pauses a moment and lifts his worn cotton shirt to wipe the sweat from his weary but youthful face.

Here, in the north of Burkina Faso, the land which meets the Sahel is an empty, vast horizon of ochre dust. A year ago, the patch of green land Lankoande is now harvesting was the same as the barren earth which surrounds it. The other farmers have abandoned it, he says, heading south in search of a more forgiving way of life. He, however, refusing to leave his home sought another way.

Guillaume Colin & Pauline Penot

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