Portrait of Marcel Ouédraogo, founder of SIATOLSubmitted by Admin on Thu, 07/16/2015 - 13:53
Siatol is a young soybean processing company founded in 2010 by Marcel Ouédraogo. He worked ten years in the sector of soy production before devoting himself exclusively to Siatol, with the objective of developing new opportunities for small producers and strengthening the national production of soya oil.
Siatol is the first investment of Sinergi Burkina, an investment fund dedicated to small enterprises and start-ups in Burkina Faso. The fund, managed by Hervé Hien, was sponsored by Investisseurs & Partenaires as part of its project IPDEV 2, which aims to establish a network of 10 African investment funds targeting Small Growing Businesses with needs below EUR 300,000.
A talented and experienced entrepreneur
Graduated from the Université Polytechnique of Bobo Dioulasso, Marcel Ouédraogo is an agro-economic engineer, specialized on rural development issues. In December 2004, he joins the CIDR (International Center of Development and Research), a French association implementing development programs in several Sub-Saharan countries. Marcel Ouédraogo notably works on the ESOP program, focused on the Burkinabe soy production sector.
From this experience, he gains an extensive knowledge of the sector. He works on several entrepreneurial projects and supports the creation of three cooperatives selling soya products. From 2008, the CIDR partners with the NGO APME2A, founded in 2004 and dedicated to agricultural SMEs in Burkina.
Alongside his work within the NGO, Marcel Ouédraogo is developing an economical model that would be better suited for small producers, while competition in the soya sector becomes stronger in Burkina: “the very small enterprises promoted by the programme could not produce soybean oil, considering the technical constraints and the quality requirements to be satisfied. Our objective with Siatol is to remove entry barriers and ensure outlets to small producers”.
A competitive positioning to consolidate
Siatol processes soybeans into two high-value products: soya cake, sold to poultry producers, and soya oil, for household consumption. Siatol soya oil is known for its gustatory and nutritional qualities (the oil is made without GMO and is free of cholesterol). Siatol is the only company in Burkina to locally produce soya oil.
Siatol currently works with more than 2,000 smallholders and strengthens the support program set up by APME2A by providing seeds and small equipment to producers, by allowing technical follow-up and setting up evaluation meetings.
Marcel Ouédraogo meets Hervé Hien in December 2013, through Investisseurs & Partenaires. One year later, Siatol becomes the first investment of Sinergi Burkina. Several objectives have been set, as explained by Marcel Ouédraogo: “It is first necessary to improve the structure of the company and develop a “corporate culture” specific to Siatol. We also aim to reinforce the production chain and improve the productivity of the producers we are working with”. In the medium term, Siatol could work with 10,000 local producers, building upon its strengths to widen its lead in the soya market in Burkina.