Contribution to the Gardening-Conference 2000: "Perspectives of Small-Scale Farming in urban and rural areas
- about the social and ecological necessity of gardens and informal agriculture" from 21. - 25. July 2000 in Berlin
Infos: Work group "Small-scale farming and Gardens in urban and rural Areas", C/O Free University of Berlin, Institute of Sociology, Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Bülowstr. 74, D-10783 Berlin, Tel.:+49 (0)30 - 261 22 87, ,


Karin Standler
Büro für Landschaftsplanung und Gartenbau, Wien/Linz

Gardening in Burkina Faso: how deep will the well be ?

We show the effects of a one-sided transfer of knowledge related to development aid. The related devaluation of existing knowledge in the village Sane in Burkina Faso and the non transmission or "not willing to know" of experience with the transferred knowldege of a european-civilizing sort are some of the treated aspects.

The development aid is a postcolonial insititution and carries a "conviction" of a particular order (capitalistic, theological,...) which strengthens existing tendences or imports new orders through initiatives and considers little or not the direct living relations of the people involved. The central research area is the gardening in Sane and shows clearest separation between reductionistic knowledge and experience. The old well-proven experience of subsistence economy will be replaced by a western-civilising time-spirit.

Poject example

The garden project Maraicherie with development aid financing is an example of how new structures are carried into the village. The introduction of the project should bring money to the population. The self-providing is negelcted.

How the problems must be solved - in the sense of the population or of western progress belief of the development aid - shows the question, how deep should the well be ? The well will be ever deeper to produce the fruit which are not eaten by the peasants but sold. The well must be deeper to carry the garden project, the grown kinds do not correspond to the local water and soil conditions. Human work is not enough, a mecanical drill must be imported from Europe...

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Stand: 17.9.2002