Integrating gender and youth

V. Atakos (CCAFS)

Women farmers increase incomes and plant fruit trees after exposure to “farms of the future approach”

West Africa
Priorities and Policies for CSA
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices
Gender and Social Inclusion

Exchange visits among rural communities show farmers how others are adapting and building resilience to climate change. CCAFS uses a “farms of the future” approach and organizes exchange visites for community leaders to places that have a climate that is similar to what their communities’ might experience in the future. Farmers are able to see what they can do now and how they can prepare for the future.

“We help the community to go and visit what would be their [future] community, according to climate scenarios. And we organize an exchange visit between these two communities so they can learn from the opportunities in the future community and then try to prevent their community from reaching this future scenario.” Robert Zougmoré, the CCAFS West Africa regional program leader, explained.

A visit organized for leaders from Daga-Birame – a CCAFS climate-smart village (CSV) in Senegal – showed a path to economic opportunity from agroforestry that they began immediately.

When representatives of Daga-Birame visited Linguère-Dahra, a community a few hours’ drive away, to see how people there were coping with drought– a condition that is becoming increasingly likely in Daga-Birame – they were welcomed with fresh baobab fruit juice. Daga-Birame farmers do not regularly use the baobab fruit themselves, so they were impressed that people from the host locality demonstrated both the value of the fruit and its output capacity.

The women farmers from Daga-Birame were inspired to create a "one woman, one fruit tree" juice business to generate income and increase nutrition. If the villagers could make the most of what they had – an abundance of baobab trees – they could create a homegrown solution to increase their income and resilience in the face of climate variability.

Upon return home, the women realized that the available baobab trees had been poorly managed, so they teamed up with the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA), the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and other local partners to protect existing trees and cultivate new ones. They also decided to seek ways to increase the number of local fruit trees in their village. Along the way, they introduced other drought-resistant, fruit-bearing tree crops that offer income-generating opportunities, such as jujube, tamarind, guava and soursop.

“Tree fruit farmers will tell you that since they started collecting the baobab fruit, and processing it, packaging it, and selling it, they realized that it is also a source of nutrition for their children,” said Jules Bayala, ICRAF scientist in West Africa. “It’s a complement in terms of vitamins.”

In the short term, the "One Woman, One Fruit Tree" project has generated additional income and improved the quality and quantity of food. In the long-term, improved tree biomass in the community will reduce the risk of damage from strong winds, improve soil fertility and thus increase productivity.

Partners

  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
  • Community of Daga-Birame
  • Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA)
  • Agence Nationale de l’Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (ANACIM)
  • Ministère de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable, Senegal