Diakonia - People change the world
The soya bean plantations allow farmers to sell the beans and save their other harvests for a time when they can get a better price for their produce,” says Jean Louis. Photo: Ollivier Girard

Jean Louis’ interest in agriculture transformed the town of Leo

Jean Louis Diasso is a passionate change maker who is working courageously alongside others so that people living in poverty can gain power over their own lives.

2/5/2014 Publisher: Esther Flores Sedman

Problems with selling products

Jean Louis Diasso moved several years’ ago from his birth town of Leo, in Burkina Faso, to become a bookkeeper. But when he heard that the local farming community in Leo was struggling to provide an income for its farmers, he decided to return to help solve the problem.

“When I came back to Leo, I was able to start a few businesses, whose activities included rearing livestock, growing crops and setting up nurseries. But I couldn’t establish any solutions on my own,” says Jean Louis.

Support from APME 2A became ESOP-Leo

Driven by his desire for change, Jean Louis turned to Diakonia’s partner organization APME 2A (Association pour la Promotion de la Petite et Moyenne Entreprise Agricole et Artisanat), which was working to improve the situation for local farmers. With the support that Jean Louis’ initiative received from APME 2A, he was able to start his own organization, ESOP-Leo (Entreprise de Services et Organisation de Producteurs), where as founder, director and enthusiast he soon managed to get several local farmers on board.

Soya bean secures year-round livelihood

The purpose of Jean Louis’ work with ESOP-Leo is to secure the income of small and medium-sized farmers in Leo. Through this vision, ESOP-Leo currently has agreements with over 750 local producers, who together supply 165 tonnes of soya beans over the course of a year. Jean Louis is convinced that soya beans will help ensure positive growth in the farmers’ businesses, and he has already seen evidence of this.

Sustainable future plans

Jean Louis’ goal for the future is for ESOP-Leo to extend its network to 1,000 local producers, and for ESOP-Leo’s operations to be extended outside his home province. Jean Louis also thinks that growing soya beans can help in efforts to manage climate change more effectively.
“Against the background of climate change, greater cultivation and processing of soya beans may be one solution to the food issue,” concludes Jean Louis.