On the Ground with: GREEN Senegal

Tripling the output of small-scale farmers.

Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa, yet poverty remains a crushing problem. According to the UN Human Development Report, 56 percent of the population subsists on less than $2 per day. In rural areas, the poverty rate is far higher. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases are widespread and fatal.

Turning poverty into productivity

For the past decade, a community-based organization called GREEN Senegal has been helping rural populations reverse the hunger cycle by promoting small-scale farming. AJWS funds its Techno-Agriculture Innovation for Poverty Alleviation (TIPA) project, which trains farmers in "market gardening," a unique method for making small family farms profitable. Farmers learn how to use simple, inexpensive techniques like crop rotation and Israeli-style drip-irrigation, maximizing output on formerly overtaxed or arid land.

Feeding the future

The results are stunning: the 60 families participating in the pilot TIPA training group in the village of Keur Yaba tripled their agricultural output in the last two years. The farmers have begun a project to commercialize their products, creating a strong revenue stream for a community that formerly struggled to eat. The program has sprouted offshoots all over Senegal, and villages around the country are seeing a marked reversal in the rural-to-urban migration that has been eroding the fabric of rural communities. For the first time, families are able to feed their children on local produce and income from its sale.

Hunger fast facts

  • Fifty-six percent of Senegalese subsist on less than $2 per day. Access to food, healthcare and basic services are severely limited and malnutrition is rampant.
  • Sixty percent of the beneficiaries of GREEN Senegal's TIPA project are women-headed households, which are highly vulnerable to poverty and hunger.
  • The TIPA project tripled the agricultural output of 60 farming families (400 people) in two years and, subsequently, diversified family incomes.
  • TIPA farmers have increased their corn production by 50 percent.

Voices of Change:

I was born in this village and have a responsibility to contribute it its development by bringing in income and helping to break the exodus of the young people to the cities. GREEN Senegal has helped me to get some money through the sale of my products. I can now give my family at least three different foods a day.

—Amy Diop, project beneficiary

The project has enabled the community to be more financially independent and to improve its nutrition. I now plan to use my land to send my son to school.

—Ndeye Sylla, project beneficiary

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