Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and First Lady Sika Bella Kaboré hosted a World Pulses Day inaugural fair in the capital city of Ouagadougou. The First Lady played an instrumental role in making the event possible. As a champion of small stakeholder farmers, many of whom are women, the First Lady showed special interest in World Pulse Day, given the predominant role of female farmers in the production of pulse crops.
The fair attracted thousands of people and was well attended by local, national and international government dignitaries and NGO representatives, including World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley and GPC Executive Director Randy Duckworth.
At the fair, local farmers showcased their cowpeas and mung beans. Cowpeas are widely produced and consumed in northwestern Africa, but mung bean production is fairly new and is intended for export to the Indian subcontinent. Randy sees the GPC helping to foster the relationships necessary for Burkina Faso’s growers to place product in foreign markets. Meanwhile, growers were finding creative, non-traditional uses for mung beans. Randy sampled some of their innovations, including a mung bean beverage and biscuits made with mung bean flour.