Lassané Savadogo

Ashoka Fellow
Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso
Fellow Since 2011


This profile was prepared when Lassané Savadogo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Lassané initiates and promotes technical and financial innovations that are accessible for producers, the majority of whom are small scale. After more than a decade of on the ground testing, Lassané has found two grassroots solutions that create effective and affordable storage for small farmers cultivating the most significant staple crops in relatively extreme year round conditions.

The first solution Lassané developed channels air through windows in a small building above ground, down a stairway into a three-meter below-ground cavern that sits next to (not below) the above ground structure. The cavern structure’s length and width varies, depending on the amount of storage required. It requires a dimension of 6.2 x 3.5 meters of horizontal dimension and 3 meters of depth. Connected to the wall opposite the staircase is a horizontal vent connected to a separate shaft that is 3.5 meters deep and has a diameter of a half meter. To fine tune the temperature inside the basement when surface temperatures are at their highest, Lassané puts a small amount of water in the base of the ventilation shaft and uses small amounts of water to moisten the roof above the sub-surface basement.

The second replicable solution is for the storage of onions. In outward appearance, the storage unit looks much like a traditional granary, but it is designed in such a way that it promotes air circulation, which is critical to keeping the interior of the granary at an acceptable temperature. The legs of the granary, for example, are hollow and made out of metal to allow air to circulate up through the floor. In the same way the wall of the granary is two walls, with 10 centimeters of space between the walls to channel the air inwards in a spiral. Design modifications to the roof allow air to escape upward and prevent infrequent rain from entering. The granary Lassané has developed is capable of storing 3 tons of onions for 4 to 6 months or 1.5 tons for up to 8 months, with a spoilage rate of not more than 6 to 8 percent.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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