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From agro-ecological production to processing: the development of a sustainable agricultural food chain in Senegal through women’s and family farming.

The project is promoted by M.A.I.S., in collaboration with Féderation Départementale des Groupments de Promotion Féminine (FDGPF) of Dakar, Case Foyer Ouakam; Union SAPPAT (Solidarité pour l’Auto Promotion Paysanne dans l’Arrondissement de Tattaguine); City Authority of Passerano Marmorito (Italy); City Authority of Bruino (Italy); Tavola di Babele (cooperative); Novamont (S.p.a.); Banca del Tempo di S.Salvario (Turin, Italy) – “Basta un ritaglio”; Agency for Local Development of San Salvario (Turin, Italy), co-financed by the Piedmont Regional Authority.

Intervention area
Dakar suburbs and Satik Region, rural community of Tattaguine. Piedmont Region, Italy.

The suburban area of Dakar is a buffer area between the city centre and the external outskirts of the city, where most migrants from rural areas move to for living. This area shows problems of environmental degradation, inadequate waste disposal and water drainage systems, difficult access to basic services, such as health and education, land and property speculation. The socio-economic situation of this area is characterized by a high unemployment rate, mostly for women and young people and  by an irregular urbanization, which caused a high population density, leaving no space to public intervention.
The most part of the population living in these areas lives on small informal activities based on handicraft or commerce. Women’s position remains subordinated, although women are responsible for family support. Women’s work in this area is badly paid and physically hard, especially because of a very low access to credit and education for women.
Tattaguine is situated in a very dry agricultural area, characterized by a very strong poverty of the its population. Its precarious environmental conditions have been worsened by an inappropriate use of natural resources, determining a progressive reduction of farmable land and agricultural productivity. The Union Sappat, an organisation of farmers and shepherds involving the Avds of 31 villages, has been working for years in the area, boosting environmental recovery and the creation of income based on agriculture. Its proximity to the capital city constitutes a great opportunity for the trading of products that, if grown with agro-ecological methods, could reach a high qualitative and quantitative level, so as to guarantee a valid diet supplement and a real income source.

Objectives of the intervention

One of the major problems of the country is the food-import dependence from other countries and the negative impact of rice import on Senegal’s trade balance. Because of a strong increase in the cost of rice and imported cereals, families cannot provide for their own daily subsistence any more.
Urban dietary habits have been diffused both into the surrounding rural areas and in the suburbs and have caused the disuse of traditional food (cereals and legumes), in favour of import products.
The project aims at the reduction of the impact of import food products on the family households, through bringing back traditional food habits. The recovery of traditional food will contribute to the differentiation in the diet of women who benefit from the project and their families and to bring back traditional recipes, promoting the area’s resources. Women who will be trained in the food processing techniques, will acquire diversified skills and therefore more competitive, in respect with  the local offer, thus giving them back an important role in society and an ability to support their families.
The creation of a popular canteen, as well as assuring the project’s sustainability, will contribute to make the local community informed about the benefits of buying and eating local products which are less expensive than the import ones, and can improve nourishment and the hygienic conditions of popular nutrition.
The technical skills and capacity of producers will be improved and consolidated, through the increase of technology  of activities and the professionalization of men and women.
This will favour the obtainment of a continuing and differentiated production all year round, despite the bad environmental conditions.
The applied techniques will favour the recovery of the ground and a food production which could be destined to families but also to the local market.
The strengthening of producers’ organisations and of the North-South collaboration, together with the awareness activities, will be the tools for boosting local value and the direct exchange between producers and consumers.

In Senegal  

  • To promote families’ production and food safety in the areas of Tattaguine and Dakar, supporting the local food chain and promoting the use of local resources
  • To make the people aware of the intervention on health, education and on the rediscovery of traditional local food.


In Italy

  • To make the local institutions and the Italian population aware of the difficulties of women in the urban and suburban areas of Dakar and on the improving value of local culture, food and resources
  • To create moments of interchange of good practices among the Senegalese and the Italian population about the promotion of local culture, food and resources, with the involvement of local associations and institutions of the Region.