Dramane Coulibaly

Ashoka Fellow
Niamey, Niger
Fellow Since 2011


This profile was prepared when Dramane Coulibaly was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
It has been known for a long time that the combination of diminishing water and available pasturage was threatening the livelihood of the Peul and Touareg tribesmen who made their living breeding and moving herds of cattle from one grazing area to another. In the face of these threats, the tribesmen were unyielding in their loyalty to the animals, preferring to remain with the animals whose constitution was not up to the rigors of moving from one grazing area to another. Faced with the problem of marginal animals in their herds, the tribesmen chose to sell their hardiest cattle to the market and allow their compromised animals to die, losing any residual value that the animals might have.

Dramane saw that the solution was to reverse this practice—to create a system in which the farmers could conserve their best animals until they could fetch a maximum price and find other market outlets for the marginal animals. To accomplish this, Dramane introduced a version of South African “Biltong”—beef jerky—and then created a separate delivery chain for the marginal animals: Intermediaries to work with the cattle herders, separate and driven to local abattoirs set up for the driers to cure the meat, and new (for the region) processing of bones (for powder) and other parts of the animal.

The impact of Dramane’s idea has been to reduce the size of the herds by as much as 50 to 60 percent, and to increase the value of the remaining herd by as much as 100 percent, because the animals are able to make better use of available pasturage, and to create a new income stream from the sale of marginal animals the tribesmen previously left to die.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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