Claude Ariste

Ashoka Fellow
Burkina Faso,
Fellow Since 1997
UFMB - Union Maraichère et Fruitière du Burkina Faso


This profile was prepared when Claude Ariste was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1997.
The New Idea
From the local to the national level, Claude Ariste is changing the patterns of interaction in Burkina Faso's fresh produce sector by showing the farmers how to organize around the idea of community economic benefit. He is demonstrating why it is in farmers' best interest to be linked in cooperatives at the local, regional, and national levels. The process Claude has set up helps farmers to grow better quality produce that can justify fair prices. He also encourages them to mutually decide on a fair price for their goods at the market, instead of undercutting each other to make a sale, and to create a system of collective bargaining and negotiation for a fair price that helps everyone. This process creates a mindset change from one of subsistence and informal business to one of market-oriented and better organized trade that builds a sustainable system of support, training, and revenue for rural people.
To create this change, Claude is working closely with small- and large-scale, male and female Burkinabé producers. While there are a large number of farmers' associations throughout Burkina Faso, Claude's is the sole organization of such broad scope, which successfully maximizes not only the production process (from field to market), but also the training and marketing aspects of the fresh produce sector.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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