15 October 2021
Promoting Sahelian vegetable oils with Hommes & Terre

In northern Burkina Faso, Hommes & Terre social business works hands in hands with local communities to restore degraded lands using an innovative technique called « half moon ». The restored village lands contribute to the pan-African Great Green Wall Initiative, that aims at fostering reforestation and forest preservation initiatives alongside a belt crossing the African continent from west to east. Not only do those forest ecosystems reduce the risks of desertification : they also contribute to improve the daily lives of local populations and to strengthen their ability to adapt to climate change, thanks to the ecosystem services provided by the forest (increased food security, job creation, etc.).

Hommes et Terre (H&T) and Kinomé both put the following principle at the heart of their action : a living tree should always be more valuable than a dead one. In order to make sure that the restored lands are preserved in the long run, H&T builds the conditions for a sustainable use of the forest that provides both ecological and social benefits. The choice of the replanted species thus takes into account their future exploitation by the villagers.

Baobab, moringa or hibiscus… Those vegetable oils are produced from the seeds of trees naturally present in the Sahel region. Their vitamins and fatty acids compositions make them very sought-after ingredients for the cosmetic industry in Europe, Asia, and on the American continent. Kinomé conducted a market study on those exotic vegetable oils to support H&T in their process of valorization. Drawing on desk research and interviews of a large range of actors from the oil value chain, Kinomé’s consultants provided recommandations to H&T on the most profitable type of oils, the quality and traceability criteria to meet, and several business models alternatives.

By supporting small local cooperatives in the production and marketing of organic vegetable oils, H&T contribute to create value and economic opportunities in the region. Its projects also strengthen the links between communities and their environment, and improve local populations’ understanding of ecological preservation.

True to its partnership-based approach, Kinomé plays a key role in this dynamic by mobilizing its network and building bridges between people – from small Burkinabe producers to French industrial cosmetic group managers- in a sustainable and impact-generating manner.