Overview of the project
The CEP-G initiative contributes to the capacity building project on adaptation planning for food security and nutrition, entitled “Food security: an adapted agriculture” (SAGA), implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO,) and funded by the Ministry of International Relations and Francophony (MRIF) of the Government of Quebec.
This project aims to strengthen the capacity of producers to adapt to climate change in two French-speaking countries particularly vulnerable to its impacts: Haiti and Senegal. In particular, SAGA facilitates the undertaking of pilot community initiatives, which contribute to strengthening the adaptive capacities of civil society. Their results and lessons learned are also documented and shared at the national level to inform the national adaptation plan process for the agriculture sector.
Social norms and gender-based inequalities, coupled with the effects of climate change, disproportionately affect women producers in the Kaolack region in all socio-economic aspects of their lives. In this part of Senegal, there is a continuous decline in rainfall, soil impoverishment due to the monoculture of peanuts and the salinization of agricultural land.
This situation reduces harvests, and consequently lowers incomes and increases the food insecurity of the most vulnerable populations, especially women and their families. To ensure the economic empowerment of women producers, Carrefour International proposes to contribute to strengthening the resilience to climate change of women producers who are members of the network of 40 market gardens managed exclusively by women and coordinated by the Association for the Promotion of Senegalese Women (APROFES), located in Kaolack, a region of Senegal where agriculture is the main source of income to ensure food security and nutrition for the majority of the population.
The Producer Field Schools (PFS), which are training sites for a group of producers, is “a school “without walls” that takes place in a field throughout a crop season.” (FAO, 2014), the CEP-G is a place to exchange experiences and knowledge among women producers on climate change (CC) adaptation strategies in production, processing, conservation and marketing, but also on gender equality regarding the division of household tasks, control of resources, access to land, involvement in decision-making bodies, etc. In addition to the conventional CEP approach, the CEP-G is gender-sensitive with specific modules developed from local realities.
The CEP-G plans to invite several men from the Kaolack region to attend training and awareness sessions on gender equality. The CEP-G also includes training and sensitization on gender issues in the localities concerned. Through talks, role plays, educational skits, testimonies or dynamic presentations, issues related to the negative effects of gender inequality, leadership and negotiation of women’s rights are addressed.
The CEP-G plans to train 25 facilitators (23 women producers from 11 market gardens in the network and 2 women technicians from APROFES). The training sessions will be conducted by trainers identified in the national network of master trainers (RNFS). This first training of trainers (TOT) is conducted in six sessions lasting an average of seven days per session, for a total of 41 days of training. For five months, the 25 facilitators are trained on the CEP-G approach. They will conduct a baseline survey at the beginning of their training. This survey will help identify the issues and challenges related to CC adaptation in the area, as well as those related to gender. The specific training topics are chosen in response to the identified challenges.
The 25 trained facilitators will be able to replicate the knowledge acquired with 275 women producers selected in their respective eleven (11) market gardening perimeters. These women will be trained on sustainable market gardening techniques, traditional and modern techniques of adaptation to climate change, gender equality, gender-based violence, among others. These 11 CEP-Gs will be located in the villages of Gapakh, Ndiobène, Kacothie, Thiambène, Dinguiraye, Darou, Samba Ndiaye, Ngap, Keur Balla Hanne, Keur A Mame and Nguindor, in the commune of Keur Socé.
Eventually, the 11 new CEP-Gs will enable all women in the network of 40 APROFES market gardening areas to master natural fertilization and pest control techniques, resilient market gardening production techniques, and to identify harmful and useful insects, among others. In addition, the integration and use of knowledge and agricultural practices adapted to the impacts of climate change, particularly through the introduction of crops better adapted to the decrease in rainfall in the region, will contribute to strengthening the resilience of women producers in Kaolack and their communities. This will improve the quality and quantity of agricultural production for these women producers, to increase their income and ensure better food security.
The CEP-G initiative seeks to improve and strengthen the capacities of women producers in Kaolack with the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies for better food security, particularly on the production and marketing of adapted agricultural products.
04/15/2021 – 01/15/2022
The following quantitative results have been achieved:
- A CEP-G is installed: 3 market gardening perimeters are developed (Nguindor, Keur Balla Hane and Thiambene). Each perimeter has benefited from a reinforcement of the fence and the existing irrigation system to facilitate the training of facilitators;
- 6 training sessions for facilitators were held (for a total of 41 days spread over five months);
- 6 training modules were developed and implemented for the 25 facilitators:
- Animation and management of a farmer field school;
- Management study on the melting of seedlings from the nursery to the plantation;
- Special studies on the effects of climate change, alternative energies;
- Agroecosystem analysis;
- Genre ;
- 25 facilitators are trained in the CEP-G approach on traditional climate change adaptation techniques, and on those introduced by research;
- 25 facilitators are trained on the concept of gender; gender and leadership; gender and citizenship; gender-based violence; gender and access to productive resources;
- 147 community members (118 women and 29 men) from the village of Nguindor participated in an awareness raising session on gender equality;
- 205 community members, including 150 men, attended a theatrical performance on climate change issues and access to productive resources for women;
The qualitative results of the project are mainly represented by the degree of mastery of the facilitators of the notions of gender equality, facilitation techniques of the CEP-G and agricultural techniques adapted to climate change, but also on the perception of the communities of gender and environmental protection.
During their training, the facilitators acquired knowledge on the different notions of gender (gender and leadership, gender and citizenship, gender and access to land and production factors, gender-based violence, gender equality). Through daily reporting exercises and ballot box tests conducted by the trainers during the sessions, the facilitators were able to demonstrate clear improvements in their knowledge on various aspects related to gender.
Regarding environmental concepts, they claimed that they had assimilated the agroecosystem analysis approach (AAES), a methodology for observing and studying the interactions between the crop, its environment (soil, nutrients, weather), pests (pathogens, insects, weeds) and natural enemies (predators, parasitoids). Mastering this conservative and environmentally friendly approach allowed the facilitators to change their perception of the effectiveness of non-conventional production approaches. Decision-making in integrated predator and pest management (IPPM) is based on the AAES.
Theoretical and practical training sessions at the main field of Nguindor and practice sessions in the associated fields have greatly contributed to the improvement of the facilitators’ skills. Thus, the facilitators confirm that they have mastered several modern market gardening techniques adapted to climate change, such as the production of seedlings and reforestation, high nutritional value crops, the compensation test, the “insect zoo”, among others.
In addition, these 25 facilitators have acquired all the knowledge necessary for the animation of farmer field schools, theoretical animation techniques as in the field, are given to them. These include techniques for conducting management studies, compensation studies, the use of traps, and comparative fertilization studies.
The community awareness activities, such as talks, role plays, and educational sketches, have enabled the communities to better recognize the role of women in the production of wealth in the village and the management of natural resources. The participants in the awareness sessions, the majority of whom were men, found the topics discussed interesting and relevant. The majority of them said that they better recognized the negative effects of gender inequalities due to socialization and socio-economic constraints. The educational sketches performed on the differentiated effects of climate change, on access to production resources according to gender, on climate change, on market gardening and the difficulties of access to production resources by women allowed the community present at the sensitization sessions to affirm being more sensitive to the protection of the environment and to better know the agricultural practices that are harmful to it.
The CEP-G initiative is a contributing activity to the "Sécurité alimentaire : une agriculture adaptée" (SAGA) project funded by the Government of Quebec, coordinated by the FAO and implemented by Carrefour International.
Founded in 1958, Carrefour International’s (Carrefour) mission is to contribute to a sustainable and more equitable world by mobilizing and empowering individuals, organizations and communities through knowledge sharing, solidarity and collective action. Our vision is ONE WORLD free of poverty, egalitarian and respectful of the rights of women and girls.
Carrefour’ holistic approach (2020-2027) focuses on three areas:
- strengthening women’s leadership
- women’s rights and the fight against gender-based violence
- strengthening women’s economic empowerment.
The ultimate outcome in our theory of change is improved protection of the rights and well-being of the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people, particularly women and girls.
Carrefour implements targeted actions and strategies to achieve this goal, including:
- Accompanying local CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) and government institutions to strengthen their commitment and capacity to integrate gender and intersectionality into their work and commitment to women’s and girls’ rights.
- Capacity building of local CSOs through volunteerism: North-South, South-North, South-South through Canadian participation.
- Identify and support progressive women’s rights organizations to implement a targeted approach to gender equality and increase their capacity to participate in and influence policy development and hold duty bearers accountable.
- Economic empowerment of women and youth for access to decent jobs through access to technical, vocational, and entrepreneurial training; access to markets and financial inclusion; and improved resilience of rural women and youth through climate-smart agriculture (CSA) for agro-ecological enterprises and women-led farmers’ organizations;
- Supporting advocacy and collective action to change systems, policies, laws and practices at the local, national and international levels.
Carrefour’s development strategy focuses on a behavior change approach that addresses power relations and discriminatory gender norms, while simultaneously integrating the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ rights, strengthening their leadership roles, and ensuring their economic empowerment while respecting the environment. Carrefour has an environmental policy that increases, among other things, women’s resilience to climate change and environmental sustainability.
In Senegal, Carrefour has supported several initiatives oriented towards smart agriculture and agroecology. The Association for the Promotion of Senegalese Women (APROFES), one of its first partners, has been supported for nearly 15 years to build resilience to climate change among women producers who are members of the network of 40 market gardens in the Kaolack region. In 2019, Carrefour’s interventions with Aprofes have thus benefited from the support of FAO through the project “Field Schools for Women Producers – Gender (CEP-G) to strengthen the resilience of women producers in Kaolack”.