Banyan Global operates seamlessly within four practice areas:
Banyan Global works with a group of female rural entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso to expand their businesses, create new jobs, and support increased food security. Founded in 2005 to support female farmers and agribusinesses, Reseau des Transformatrices de Cereales (RTCF) is one of the leading agricultural associations in Burkina Faso. It's now a nationwide organization working with hundreds of female entrepreneurs to access local and international markets. Banyan Global is collaborating with RTCF to understand its challenges and expand its outreach. In meetings with these female entrepreneurs, Banyan Global identified the lack of processing machinery and driers as key constraints to them expanding their businesses.
Most RTCF members work out of their homes, either tending the family plot or hand processing maize, sorghum, and millet. Products are harvested by hand, solar dried, and hand packaged for sale. The majority of RTCF's processed cereals are sold on the local market with up to one-third contributing to regional food sales.
Access to driers and agriprocessing machines would enable RTCF members to expand the volume of their production while lowering operational costs. The availability of processed cereals also would increase household security in one of Africa's poorest nations.
Banyan Global works with equipment-leasing companies, microfinance institutions, and banks to facilitate RTCF members' access to agriprocessing equipment loans. While there is enthusiasm in Burkina Faso to support female entrepreneursincluding endorsements from the highest levels of governmentthe risk-averse nature of financial institutions threatens women's access to larger loans. Banyan Global is proposing innovative solutions to decrease the perceived risk of lending to this target group through third-party guarantees and purchasing equipment with dealer credit.
RTCF members that have accessed processing equipmentsuch as Madame Traorehave expanded their business operations. After acquiring a new gas-fired drier, Madame Traore quadrupled her monthly production and significantly increased her family income. In addition, Madame Traore just hired two young widows to support her business's growth.
Currently RTCF is developing a label for its members to brand their products, ensuring consumers of a recognizable quality standard. This marketing strategy should increase local sales of processed cereals. RTCF continues its important work throughout Burkina Faso and will remain a Banyan Global partner.
Banyan Global's work in West Africa is part of the United States Agency for International Development-funded Expanded Agriculture Trade Program managed by Abt Associates.