2022-03-15 17:54:09

Preservation of an Agricultural Environment and Promotion of Sustainable and Decent Employment for Young People

A majority of the nearly 500,000 residents in the department of Tivaouane are engaged in agriculture. However, low rainfall, infertile soil, and scanty use of fertilisers, spelled out low yield and, consequently, an outflux of farmers to cities. The economic crisis in 2008, along with various agricultural development projects, reversed the trend. However, the availability of irrigation water and manure hindered further agricultural development. Also, a surge of urban livestock farming after the food crisis in 2008 posed an environmental problem for the urban areas – animal waste. To solve both problems, this initiative came into being. 

It focuses on developing three courses of action. The first action is to strengthen institutional, organisational, and technical capacities of agricultural producers' organisations (OPAs), drilling users' associations (ASUFORs), and farmers. The objective is to empower the OPAs to encourage their member farmers to stay on their land and advise them on how to modernise their family farms. At the same time, it looks to improve the water services provided by the ASFORs, who are responsible for maintaining the boreholes drilled since the 2000s, so that there will be more surplus water used for irrigation.

The second action is to support the self-employment of young people in green sectors. It plans to strengthen the structure of high value-added market gardening sectors by encouraging farmers to pursue niche (onion) and off-season (chili) production. It also aims to promote job opportunities for young people in peri-urban areas through the creation of value chains based on intensive livestock farming, household waste sorting, organic waste composting, and tree planting.

The third action focuses on recycling the organic waste in urban areas to return nutrients to the soil in rural areas. It relies on neighbourhood health committees for mass communication. Together with public bodies in charge of waste management, activities focus on collecting, transporting, and processing organic waste. In so doing, the department hopes to create a value chain and provide farmers with more affordable quality organic fertilisers, which improve soil fertility with proper use and increase agricultural yield.

So far, various training sessions have been organised. A total of 8.1 tons of compost from rural manure has been produced, and more than 2,300 fertilising trees have been planted in 10 villages. Niche production has also raised, on average, farmers’ income to more than double the guaranteed minimum agricultural wage in Senegal. 

This initiative contributes to the achievement of Goal 1 (no poverty), Goal 2 (zero hunger), Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), Goal 10 (reduced inequalities), Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production), and Goal 15 (life on land) of the SDGs.