West Africa has high population growth. It is estimated that the region’s population (45% of whom are under 15 years old) will reach a half-billion by 2040. But countries in the region are struggling to reduce poverty and inequality, and to sustainably manage resources. There are major disparities in the region: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal alone account for roughly 80% of the region’s imports and 94% of exports. Conflicts, political crises and terrorist threats in several West African countries are all destabilising factors. Those countries also face extreme climate phenomena, which are becoming more and more frequent and severe, and which are further weakening the primary sector.
Over the past thirty years, family farms in the Sahel have based their economies on balancing their resources and labour between animal and crop production. Livestock mobility is central to all of those systems, even the most sedentary ones. By securing routes and facilitating mobility, this project will benefit a wide range of family farms, regardless of how their farming systems are balanced.
When it comes to improving food security, jobs and economic development in this strategic sector, it is important to invest in infrastructure (livestock routes, pasture areas, rest areas, watering places, livestock markets, loading areas, livestock food banks, veterinary storage facilities) and work with local authorities to improve their decision-making tools with support and expertise provided by pastoral civil-society organisations. By building capacities and improving collaboration between local authorities and civil society, the project hopes to:
- perform thorough pre-project social-engineering work;
- optimise targeting of future infrastructure projects; and
- ensure that infrastructure is jointly and sustainably managed by local authorities and pastoral civil-society organisations.
By securing herd mobility and herd access to agropastoral and market infrastructure, particularly along the borders of the eight project countries, and by ensuring strong collaboration between civil-society organisations and local authorities, this project will ultimately create a virtuous circle that will make it possible to sustainably integrate agropastoralism into the socio-economic landscape of those areas, help agropastoral communities become more resilient, and promote socio-economic development in those areas using tax revenue from the sector.
- secure herd mobility and access to pastoral resources and markets;
- establish the right conditions for accessing natural resources and herd mobility by strengthening the capacities of key players in the sector at cross-border level;
- improve living conditions for agropastoral communities by providing food for livestock, marking routes, improving market infrastructure and ensuring access to cross-border veterinary stations;
- improve cross-border mobility through a network of joint local authority organisations.
Key figures and results
- 70 brainstorming workshops will be organised;
- 60 leaders (at least 30% women) will receive training in livestock trade or mobility in West Africa;
- 140 people (at least 30% women) will receive training in geographic information systems;
- 20% decrease in conflicts between livestock farmers and smallholders by 2022;
- 70 informed debates on issues relating to livestock trade and mobility in West Africa;
- 22 maps showing the different activities linked to agropastoralism will be made available;
- Creation of at least 300 committees (with at least 600 female members) to manage and monitor all of the infrastructure;
- 2,065km of routes secured;
- Creation of at least 38 watering places, 25 rest areas and 25 pasture areas; construction of 13 livestock food banks and provision of 1,100 tonnes of livestock food;
- At least 22 construction projects for market infrastructure completed and managed inclusively and transparently;
- Creation of at least 5 cross-border joint local authority organisations.