Perspectives for farmers and small agri-businesses in West Africa
There are many challenges for ICCO Cooperation in West Africa. In this region, the fast growing number of youth needs jobs and income to see a future in their own country. Producers need to have the technical know-how to improve production while the market needs to learn to appreciate the local production.
In recent months, various projects have been added to our portfolio in West Africa. They aim to ensure the viability of small-farm economies as a contribution to fighting poverty and undernourishment in the region.
Burkina Faso: ‘Innovating for Impact in Sesame’
An upscale of our public-private partnership project in Burkina Faso entitled ‘Innovating for Impact in Sesame’ (IFIS) has been approved by GiZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). IFIS aims to support 8,000 smallholder farmers engaged in the production and marketing of organic sesame. With the newly approved extension project, GiZ will provide an additional 1 million Euro to the project from September 2020 to December 2022 to support an additional 5,000 smallholder farmers.
Burkina Faso: Fish Farm Development Project
This project offers economic opportunities for especially youth and women in the fishery sector to improve food and nutrition security of their families. The project will promote a robust, resilient and profitable fish farm model. Robust because it will be based on a constellation of micro and small enterprises, integrating technologies adapted to local conditions. Resilient in management of natural resources, and the use of locally available inputs and equipment. And profitable in each stage of the value chain. The project aims to create 3,000 fish farming businesses for at least 5,000 jobs to be created over the 6 years (2020-2026). The project is entirely funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burkina Faso with 17 million Euros.
Mali: Agricultural Production Systems South
USAID Mali has approved a 5-year, 19 million Euros project in which ICCO is a consortium member. The lead agency is RTI International. The project has the objective to equip the members of farmer organizations in South Mali with farmer-led extension services, digital field systems and climate-smart technologies. The farmers will increase their production, income, access to and consumption of diverse, nutritious foods. ICCO’s budget is about 2 million USD. ICCO will amongst others develop strategies for adapting extension and technology transfer to different value chains, and support technical extension training.
Senegal: COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Agrifinance Project
This project aims to support smallholders to recover from the pandemic and emerge stronger and more resilient to future crises and shocks. The strategy relies on actors in agricultural value chains (rice, millet, sorghum, maize, cowpea, potato and onion) working together to help increase agricultural productivity and the empowerment of producers. With ICCO as lead agency, they facilitate sustainable access to quality inputs, continuous quality e-training and access to market through the promotion of digital services. An anticipated 80,000 smallholder farmers will benefit from this 2,5-year project, with a commitment of USD 3,38 million from the Mastercard Foundation.