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In Senegal, the African Development Bank supports farmers to build food security
Gnilane Faye stands proudly by her chicken coop with her son, Serigne Saliou Ba, beside her. Faye, a Senegalese farmer and a beneficiary of the Pasa Loumakaf food security project supported by the African Development Bank, shows off her accounting book and explains how her business started.
“I started with 43 chickens. With the assistance of Pasa Loumakaf in technical training and advisory support, I was able to produce five times more chickens. I’ve already sold 160. At an average price of $6 per chicken, I’ve been able to generate annual revenue of almost $1000,” says Faye, who lives in the village of Sikilo in southwestern Senegal.
With her new income, Faye has paid for her son’s schooling and diversified her business. She has invested in market gardening and with financial support from the project she has built a fold that already houses eight goats.
The Pasa Loumakaf project in Senegal’s Louga, Matam and Kaffrine regions received S$40 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The African Development Bank, acting as the project’s executive agency, provided U$2.8m in financing in the form of a loan from the African Development Fund.
The goal of the project, which started in 2014, is to improve food security and revenue for rural farmers and breeders, with special emphasis on water use. It supports building and enhancing the existing capacities of farmers, breeders and cooperatives.
“Pasa Loumakaf targeted Louga, Matam, and Kaffrine because of these regions’ socioeconomic characteristics, including a relatively high poverty rate (the poverty index is between 45% and 64%) recurrent malnutrition, and low annual rainfall of between 300 and 350 mm,” explains project coordinator Moustapha Diaw.
Not far from Sikilo, in the village of Nguetou Malick, Segnane Modou is also the owner of a fold financed by Pasa Loumakaf at a cost of $5,300. The support was provided to encourage the sheep industry sector as part of the national program to guarantee supplies of sheep during Tabaski. “At the start, I only had two sheep, but now I have 13. I sold three to cover the cost of my father’s hospitalisation (of more than $600),” he reports.
Towards agricultural diversification
After five and a half years of operations, the positive impacts of the project are clear: agricultural diversification, revenue growth, better production and productivity, improved access to markets, security and product marketing.
The project has expanded agricultural infrastructure, including the development of 2,500 hectares of rice paddies, the construction of five consolidation centres, the development of 40 farms totalling 390 hectares of irrigated land surrounding 32 wellbores and 60 hectares of market gardens. In addition, 26 farm buildings have been constructed and approximately 111km of rural roads and ramps have improved access to markets.
In the Kaffrine Region, project beneficiaries on Medina Temegne’s farm exhibit their produce:cassava, tomatoes, aubergines, orange-skinned sweet potatoes, moringa and peanuts.
“All our products are available on the market all year due to our bore hole . Our 42 women members and youth are trained and mentored. They don’t ever want to leave the farm,” says EIG President Medina Temegne. Since 2017, the farm has made $33,000, more than half of which was used to self-finance production and the rest was shared among beneficiaries.
Because of agricultural and water management improvements, the development generated by the project is impressive: production has diversified, for example to market gardening and rice farming; rural flight has decreased - more than 70% of farmers are young people under 35 and women have become involved in farming and have abandoned the practice of selling charcoal.
More than 1,100 jobs have been created in farming, 40% of which have been for women. In partnership with ACMU (Universal Health Cover Agency), the project has also helped 10,000 people join health insurance mutuals through revenue generated by agriculture.
Additionally, the Pasa Loumakaf project has improved pastoral infrastructure (bore holes , waterholes, vaccination stations, sheepfolds, chicken coops and stables) to increase productivity in the livestock industry.
The project has supported 217 water and agricultural infrastructure management committees and trained approximately 17,000 farmers, 10 000 of whom are women, and 36,000 breeders in production, processing, management and marketing techniques.