Across many parts of the Sahel, conflict and violence has intensified just as drought and rising temperatures are undermining food production and agricultural productivity. Land available to pastoralists, who traditionally roam for pasture, is shrinking, leading to conflict. Within this context, young people are increasingly caught between violence and a lack of opportunity for meaningful employment. To help combat this, the project supports rural youth in creating income-generating activities that foster food and nutrition security.
As of December 2021, the project has benefitted 1,135 people, of which 38% are women, across 49 producer-based organizations and has involved producer organizations, local banks and microfinance institutions, and other innovative financing arrangements and service providers. The projecthas enabled 1,135 smallholder farmers to access funds along with extension services. Further, the project has constructed or rehabilitated 20 post-harvest facilities, improving production on 239.25 hectares of land, and has provided 1,025 smallholders with productivity enhancement support; 1,155 people, including 695 women, with improved nutrition services and products; and 1,050 people with access to direct employment, including 732 youth and 325 women.
Additional funding in 2020 for a medium- to long-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic facilitated a workshop on the banking system and youth agricultural entrepreneurship to support rural youth in improving their entrepreneurial capacity. Additional funds supported the creation of four processing units for poultry and fish in areas of high demand, to promote public-private partnerships. The project also strengthened monitoring systems to collect information on the products of rural youth farms, the quantities marketed, and the income generated to allow youth to understand supply and demand and established contracts with health centers for training, support, and nutritional monitoring of youth and their families to better understand and improve beneficial nutrition habits.
Manda Dite Mariam Sissoko