In southern Senegal, the Kolda region (in Haute Casamance) is the poorest region in the country. Large-scale industrial agriculture and land concentration are spreading, to the detriment of the more sustainable smallholder-farming system. As a result, small producers and women (who make up more than one-third of the working population in rural areas) are the two segments of the population most vulnerable to poverty.
AVSF is working in the Kolda region to improve the food security of the rural population by:
Unlike other farming systems that rely on chemical fertilizers, this project promotes a farming system that is based on sustainable livestock farming: working animals, composting, manure pits. The communal spaces that were created foster group participation in the project and give women a greater role in the decision-making process. Thanks to the literacy programs that were put in place, women in the region have gained greater independance and are now able to participate in the decision-making process within the groups of cashew-nut and sesame producers.
In a country that imports 90% of the milk that it consumes, the Kolda region is an exception. Thanks to AVSF’s many years of work in the sector, Kolda now has more than 350 milk producers serving over 100 towns. All of this has resulted in the creation of hundreds of long-term jobs and a steady source of income (sometimes even considerably higher than the local minimum wage) for the livestock farmers, milkers, and processors.