Centre de formation TONDTENGA - Professional training in agrobiology

"Tondtenga" means "our country" in Mooré (the language of Burkina Faso's largest ethnic group, the Mossi). The Tondtenga training centre is affectionately called "TT" by everyone. On this educational farm, young people who have dropped out of school are taught how to farm using agrobiological methods. The aim is to reduce the rural exodus and give young people who have dropped out of school the chance to lead decent, stable lives in their home villages.

The Tondtenga training centre was inaugurated in 2005 in Balkouy, on the outskirts of Ouagadougou. The centre can accommodate up to 120 young rural men and women. They are trained in agri-biological methods in gardening, agriculture, and animal breeding. The beneficiaries stay at the centre for the duration of their training. The seven-hectare farm is divided into four areas: the administrative area, with dormitories, classrooms, and administrative buildings; the environment area, with fruit trees and plant nurseries; the agriculture area, with market gardens and compost pits; and the livestock area, with stables for the animals (pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, chickens, and cattle). The water needed for the farm is drawn by a solar pump from a depth of 65 metres and stored in a water tower.

Training lasts around 18 months and is designed to meet the needs of the beneficiaries. It is divided into 20% theory and 80% practice. Students learn about agriculture, vegetable gardening, animal breeding, organic fodder, irrigation, soil preparation, and fertilization through organic composting and financial management. The course culminates in participation in two national professional aptitude examinations, known as the "CQB" - Certificat de Qualification de Base (Basic Qualification Certificate) and the "CQP" - Certificat de Qualification Professionnelle (Professional Qualification Certificate).

With their luggage full of new knowledge, the beneficiaries return to their home villages at the end of the training to contribute their skills to the sustainable development of their region. Two options are open to them: forming agricultural cooperatives in groups of ten or setting up as self-employed entrepreneurs. TT helps them set up with equipment and supports them during their first year back home.

Thanks to its many years of experience, Tondtenga knows how to adapt to the needs of Burkinabé society. In 2022 and 2023, the centre received and trained IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) from the Centre-Nord region. By supporting IDPs, TT contributes to the recovery of the areas of Burkina Faso that have been plagued by insecurity since 2019. In 2024, the young IDPs were settled in secure regions to put their knowledge into practice and rebuild their lives.

Tondtenga is managed by a technical team comprising a Director, a Water and Forestry Engineer, a Training and Post-Training Officer, a Rural Development and Environment Engineer, a Secretary-Accountant, an Agricultural Production Supervisor, a Senior Agricultural Technician, a Livestock Production Supervisor, a Senior Livestock Technician, an Environmental Production Supervisor and a Water and Forestry Technician. Administrative and support staff include a driver, two cooks responsible for catering for the beneficiaries, two night supervisors, and three guards.

The Tondtenga project was initiated by the Dr Elvire Engel Foundation in Luxembourg in partnership with AMPO. The Dr Elvire Engel Foundation has been the project's leading funder.

Since 2005, Tondtenga has been developing its activities to contribute to a sustainable environment in Burkina Faso's villages by improving the soil quality and the living conditions of young rural people who have dropped out of school.