Beneficiaries of PAPIL collected in the Fatick region

Michel Ndour, President of the Fatick Regional Consultation Committee

“When PAPIL first came, we were very wary, but the project really has brought us something new. We have water all around, which we did not have before. There are dikes and we have nothing but good results everywhere. PAPIL really has played a part in the fight against poverty. Everyone is working now, either in agriculture or market gardening. We were lucky enough to have had a good PAPIL team, which has integrated into the population and which really does bring us the means to fight poverty, such as controlling water and the dams to prevent the salinity that gains ground whenever it can. The cultivable land is increasing and there is an impact on the environment as well; the soil is becoming richer. This has been done with the support of technicians. PAPIL has been successful since its inception. We are satisfied. This is the first project to have such good results up to now.”

Karim Sène, President of the rural community of Fimela

“As president of the rural community, we work closely with PAPIL. I acknowledge the work that has been done in our area. They are doing a great job that really does deserve encouragement. The smallest toddler in the rural community of Fimela could tell you about PAPIL’s achievements. Thanks to PAPIL, it won’t be long before the rural community of Fimela achieves food self-sufficiency, God willing.”

Samba Thiaw, President of the producers’ organisation of Keur Alioune Guèye

“We used to grow rice in this valley. But there came a time when the water no longer stopped here and went directly to the sea. We couldn’t stop it and the result was that at the end of the season we were only harvesting a quarter of what we’d sown. Then, when PAPIL came, it got us out of that situation: not only was the water retained, but the producers, those who farm the valley, that is the seven villages, saw their numbers increase. There were only 50 producers before, but there are over 200 working in the valley now. And the range of activities has grown as well, because in addition to rice, bee-keeping, tree crops and market gardening have come in leaps and bounds too.”

Adja Khady Labou, President of the Women’s Advancement Groups in Fatick Department

“I thank PAPIL, which involved us when it came to the aid of the region. Traditionally, each family had its storehouse with millet and rice, but everything was gone. Today, we are pleased with the PAPIL initiatives, which have meant we can have stocks of rice and millet, helping in the fight against poverty. It is good that PAPIL supports the Women’s Advancement Groups, because there are groups in the most remote of villages. There is no doubt that the work being done by PAPIL with the women’s groups in the valleys, the construction of the salt-exclusion dikes, the help with seeds and inputs, building stores and equipping us with harvesting and threshing machinery all helps the region to develop. And we thank them deeply. We do not have many resources, but we have been able to benefit from support and we can meet our needs.”

Abdoulaye Ndiaye, President of the rural community of Keur Samba Guèye

“Before the Médina Djikoye dike and road was built, the villages on the other side of the valley were practically part of the Gambia because in winter it was impossible to travel across. They conducted all their activities on foreign soil. Now, they go about their business like every other Senegalese; they have no problem in going to the interior of the country or obtaining treatment in the rural community health posts. Nearly 15,000 people live behind the valley, including my rural community of Keur Samba Guèye, the rural community of Keur Saloum Diané and several villages around Kaolack. They all now use the Médina Djikoye dike and road to get to Kaolack or elsewhere within the country.”

Jean-Charles Faye, director of the National Agricultural and Rural Advice Agency (ANCAR Kaolack-Fatick)

“We have been developing a partnership with PAPIL for five years in the Fatick region. What we should say about this partnership is that PAPIL has made it possible to develop a synergy and complementarity among all the stakeholders in rural development, including ANCAR[1] and the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research, enabling them to conduct activities to increase yields in the valleys where PAPIL is working. This has a beneficial effect for ANCAR, because PAPIL, thanks to its management schemes, has established a base, a support, that makes the most of the Rural Agricultural Council. As you know, the Agricultural Council is a service, but to provide this service there is a need for the establishment of infrastructure and for actions to be funded so that outreach officers can bring knowledge and expertise to the producers. This has even made it possible, in some areas, to build the capacities of producers through the dissemination of a number of technologies, delivering training on themes ranging from production to the processing of agricultural products, for both rice cultivation and market gardening. It has also increased productivity and yields, from 600 kg to over 3 tonnes per hectare for rice production and even to 6 tonnes per hectare for support for rice seed production. What this means is that in every area where PAPIL has developed schemes, food self-sufficiency is being reached. The other goal is to achieve a production surplus for sale, thus increasing these producers’ incomes.”

Mamadou Camara, Head of PAPIL, Fatick region

“In the Fatick region, where soil salinization is limiting the development of vegetation, the establishment of salt-exclusion dikes, containment dikes and bunds has had a very beneficial effect on vegetation. There has been good regeneration of trees and woody species due to the groundwater recharge. This category of intervention represents a long-term favourable change at the local level which has a strong impact on the quality of land vegetation in the areas concerned. The presence of small water-management schemes (water retention, shallows and ponds) in the lowlands covered by the project has enabled control of run-off by promoting a balanced distribution of water inside the valleys and their catchment basins either by storing the water or by using it more efficiently. Usage bans,[2] reforestation and windbreaks around certain schemes contribute to reducing the vegetation cover loss caused by soil leaching or wind erosion. To be effective, usage bans are combined with actions to restore and maintain soil fertility. In addition, the success of the project has been due to its flexible and comprehensive partnership approach, the empowerment of local leaders, and the dynamism of the process of mobilisation and structuring around the valorisation of the schemes. In supporting the population in this dynamic, PAPIL has been able to provide practical solutions to problems related to climate change. To respond to climate change, project interventions are based on a two-pronged approach. The first centres on activities that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – these climate-change attenuation measures particularly concern reforestation, exploitation bans on wooded land and regeneration of mangroves. The second involves the promotion of adaptive activities and practices to reduce the vulnerability of crop production systems to the effects of climate change – these adaptation measures translate as a varied set of activities such as the fight against salinization, the recovery of degraded soil using water and soil conservation techniques, the building of water-retention structures, the promotion of appropriate cultivation technologies, and the protection of island environments, etc.”

Fatou Senghor, General Treasurer of the Dassilamésocé producers’ organization 

“I am a cashew processor by trade and the idea of being a market gardener never crossed my mind. But with the arrival of the PAPIL project, I hired a seasonal worker and, with my first onion crop, in 2012, I harvested 66 bags, which brought me 759,000 CFA francs. For the 2013 season, I recruited two seasonal workers and I was able to harvest 114 bags of onions, sold for 1,311,000 CFA francs. The profits from these sales have helped me improve my living conditions and I have spent 250,000 CFA francs on furniture.”

[1] Regional rural development directorate.

[2] A technique that consists of resting degraded surfaces on a periodic rotation to promote the restoration of the ecosystem.