Results of Seven “Food Facility” Projects
In 2009, GRET received financing from the European Union’s “Food Facility” (which aims to respond to the consequences of the food crisis) for seven projects supporting agricultural development, commodity chains and the fight against malnutrition. GRET conducted projects ranging from 18 to 22 months in length in Cambodia, Guinea, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. The short duration of these projects places them between relief and development. GRET reports on these activities concluded in 2011.
Reducing Food Insecurity Through Agricultural Development
Seventy percent of the poor live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. In Cambodia, Senegal, Guinea and Tanzania, GRET’s projects aimed to reduce food insecurity by increasing the availability of foodstuffs to ensure adequate healthy food and secure the incomes of small farmers through a dual approach targeting agricultural development and commodity chains.
In Cambodia, the project conducted with ADG, AVSF/ADA and CEDAC aimed to improve the economic and social security of smallholder farmers, the nutritional status of rural households, and food availability and quality (in particular for young children). Incomes have risen for 24,550 farmers, and 19,177 have become more productive or set up better agricultural management (increasing rice yields from 30% to 50%), and improved health measures have had a direct impact on 15,565 rural people.
In Senegal, the project to promote local commodity chain organizations (PROFILS) conducted in partnership with ENDA-GRAF, AVSF, JID and CPS aimed to increase production in four farming regions (Fatick, Kaolack, Kaffrine and Kolda), and commercialization of grain and animal products in urban and rural zones where there are shortages. The aim was to build smallholder farms’ production capacities by making inputs and equipment available and providing access to training and advice. The project also tested warrantage credit and a price information system. This helped improve food availability, affordability and quality. Three thousand hectares have been cultivated to produce 3,500 tons of millet, corn and cowpea. Four thousand households have received support through 20 farmers’ organizations, and 17 dairy processing enterprising have been strengthened, increasing their turnover by 20%. Finally, 450 households have launched highly profitable beekeeping activities.
In Guinea, two projects were implemented. The Resa Nord project, carried by CCFD in partnership with GRET and the Fédération des Paysans du Fouta Djallon, was able to increase the food crop production and marketing capacities of 9,400 peasant farmers in the prefectures of Gaoual, Koundara and Mali by helping increase the production volume of basic foodstuffs and allowing farmers’ organizations to ensure the socioeconomic development of their areas. Since the project, 15,560 farmers have access to cultivable land, with 1,700 hectares of tilled rice fields, along with partially subsidized farming inputs, material and equipment with the creation of 11 stores and 17 hydroagricultural schemes. The second project conducted with MGE to improve the capacities of organizations in the rice and palm oil commodity chains in Upper Guinea and Forested Guinea (ACORH) aimed to increase farmers’ and commodity chain actors’ incomes and improve marketing of quality local products in urban centers. Production and storage support was provided, as well as support for processing, marketing and consultation among actors and with the State and local governments. Two hundred and thirty-five farmers’ organizations (4,800 households) were involved.
The intervention by GRET and MGE made it possible to increase rice production. Four warehouses were built, 247 hectares of lowlands were rehabilitated, and 36 tons of quality seeds and 77 tons of fertilizer were provided. Processing capacities were improved thanks to the provision of 200 improved steaming kits, 32 hullers and training. The structuring of commodity chains and consultation between economic operators in the chains can be seen through the emergence of rice-growing federations in Upper Guinea and Forested Guinea and the establishment of inter-branch agreements between the various operators in the rice commodity chain.
Finally, in Tanzania, the project to develop wholesale food markets in the regions of Mbeya and Rukwa, carried by Mviwata (the Tanzanian federation of farmers’ organizations) in partnership with GRET, aimed to facilitate sale of local agricultural products. Two quasi-wholesale markets were built and inaugurated by the vice president of Tanzania in 2012, one for rice in the Mbeya region and one for fish in Kasanga; and another was renovated for corn in the Rukwa region. The markets are managed by three autonomous semi-public companies involving the local authorities and professional organizations. In order to strengthen Mviwata’s “market support” unit, a market information system accessible via cell phone (MAMIS) was set up along with a permanent internal audit system.
Improve Young Children’s Nutritional Status
Malnutrition is both the cause and consequence of poverty and under-development because it affects children’s physical and learning capacities and their future ability to contribute to the development of their countries. In Mali, chronic malnutrition affects 38% of children under the age of five. Acute malnutrition affects 12.3% of children under the age of five in Niger. Two nutrition projects were implemented in Mali (NutriDev Mali) and Niger (NutriNiger), both piloted by Afrique Verte in partnership with GRET for the nutrition component. These two projects aimed to sustainably improve the diets of young children by building the capacities of local companies producing good quality complementary foods to supplement breastmilk that would be affordable for the largest number.
In Mali, the production and quality of the formula have improved, and 147 new points of sale have opened. Monitoring of sales has improved and better promotional techniques have led to a 30% rise in sales. In Niger, 60,000 people have been given information on good food, hygiene and care practices. One hundred and thirty-nine health agents, 97 community relays and 30 local elected officials from Tessaoua, Dogondoutchi and Niamey have been trained. Finally, 182 points of sale have been opened. Misola sales in Niger rose between 2009 and 2010, from 12 tons to more than 30 tons per year.
Project Sustainability and Roll Out
These projects have had positive effects on production, processing and sale as well as on malnutrition. However, it is important that these results be sustainable, beyond the short duration of the Food Facility system (less than two years).
For this, the project in Cambodia fosters analyzing and documenting best practices, harmonization, and reflection among the partners on the project’s possible future. In Senegal, GRET wishes to extend part of the PROFILS project’s actions on a larger scale in order to cover most farms in the case of crisis and strengthen, with ENDA-GRAF, collaboration with farmers’ organizations (FOs). GRET wishes to extend the NutriNiger (Niger) and NutriDev (Mali) programs on the territorial scale. Improved communication, notably by the media, combined with nutrition education contribute to this goal in Mali. Financing is being sought to ensure the sustainability of these two projects. The same is true of the Resa Nord project in Guinea, which needs additional financing to consolidate the Food Facility’s accomplishments over the next three years. The second project in Guinea—ACORH—was elaborated as the first phase of a long-term structuring intervention complementing other actions underway (the LG rice project, PNAAFA-IFAD). GRET and MGE have obtained a grant from the AFD/DPO to implement a second phase lasting three years; this second phase began in April 2011 and requires co-financing.
In Tanzania, the actions conducted will be extended on a larger scale (opening of a market in the center of the country, distribution of MAMIS) or deepened. GRET will support local SMEs so that they can develop their activities within wholesale markets.
More information on these projects
- ACORH (Guinea) (in french)
- Developing Food Production, Agricultural Incomes, and Nutrition and Resilience in Rural Cambodian Households (Cambodia) – Project Factsheet(in french) – Assessment
- Development of Wholesale Food Crop Markets in the Mbeya and Rukwa Regions (Tanzania)(in french)
- NutriDev Mali (Mali) (in french)– Project Factsheet – Assessment (in french)
- NutriNiger (Niger) (in french)
- Resa Nord – Guinea – Project Factsheet – Assessment (in french)
- PROFILS (Senegal) – Project Factsheet – Assessment (in french)