Scaling Agriculture In Senegal To Reduce Poverty.
The Feed the Future Senegal Dooleel Mbay project is helping promote inclusive economic growth through a facilitative market systems approach to food security and agriculture.
Reduce poverty, improve food security, and boost resilience among rural communities in Senegal through inclusive and sustainable growth in the agriculture sector.
Scale access to agricultural value chain services to expand job opportunities and enterprise development, especially for women and youth.
Reduce poverty by 15%; reach 170,000 families, representing 60% of households in target areas; engage 100,000 youth and 138,000 women; and unlock nearly $90 million in financing for agriculture. Senegal has made significant progress over the past decade in growing its agriculture sector. However, shocks and stresses—such as flood, drought, and other climate-related impacts—hold the sector back from reaching its full potential for reducing poverty and improving food security, especially among vulnerable groups like women and youth. Nutrition is also a challenge, with stunting twice as prevalent among children in rural areas compared to urban areas of the country.
To address these issues, the Feed the Future Senegal Dooleel Mbay (“Value Chain Services”) project is:
- Maximizing inclusion of women and youth in agriculture.
- Improving agriculture-related incomes for rural farming families
- Increasing private sector investment in food security and agriculture.
- Helping smallholder farmers adopt new technologies and manage climate shocks.
The project focuses activities in 8 out of 14 regions within the Senegal River Valley, southern Saloum, and Casamance. By targeting value chains like sheep, goats, mango, and horticulture alongside cereal crops (rice, millet, and maize), Dooleel Mbay is strengthening income-generating opportunities for women and youth while addressing nutrition challenges. Investments in natural resource management and climate-smart agriculture practices and technologies are helping smallholder farmers build resilience to shocks.
Facilitating market system growth in Senegal
Dooleel Mbay uses a facilitative approach to build trust, connections, and capacity among local market system actors and networks in Senegal. The project is facilitating and mobilizing support and services across and within various points of targeted value chains to strengthen the overall agriculture and food system and build resilience.
By working with and through local market actors like producer networks, input suppliers, banks, aggregators, and processors, the project is nurturing existing business relationships, market services, and revenue streams while making a business case for inclusion and fostering local problem solving.
Through grants, the project provides resources for local companies to pilot innovations and solutions, such as digital, energy, and post-harvest technologies, to increase productivity and mitigate risks like climate change. Additional support is helping local processors connect and build relationships with more smallholder farmers, which bolsters supply chains in the country and provides income opportunities to rural families.
Stronger connections and collaboration between rural producer networks, the private sector, and the Senegalese government, facilitated by the project, further foster inclusive growth, a competitive business environment, and producer and private sector engagement in policy processes like seed certification. Active collaboration with financial institutions is encouraging the development of products and services tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers, such as crop loans, micro-leases for small equipment, and agricultural insurance.
Empowering women and youth in agriculture
Women are at the heart of agricultural production as well as food security in Senegal. Through a social inclusion and empowerment approach, Dooleel Mbay is helping women increase their involvement in and benefit from agricultural activities, including:
Participation in business ownership
- Production of cereal crops as well as sheep, goats, mango, and horticulture; and
- Access to value chain services including finance and business development.
- The project is also leveraging positive youth development approaches to engage youth in new employment and entrepreneurship opportunities throughout the agriculture and food system.
Market analysis of service opportunities, along with technical and management training and mentoring, are supporting young people to start new micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses that provide rural smallholders with services such as logistics, extension, and mechanization.
Strong and active involvement of producer networks in the development of their local ecosystems is also helping both women and youth increase their entrepreneurial, managerial, and technical skills so they are well positioned to start businesses and take advantage of emerging employment opportunities.
Market systems strengthening – scaling up by scaling in
Dooleel Mbay’s approach is built on the experience and lessons from previous Fijishi-led projects in Senegal, including the USAID Economic Growth Project and Feed the Future Senegal Naatal Mbay, and collaboration with other USAID programs, such as Feed the Future Senegal Nafoore Warsaaji. Dooleel Mbay is taking the market systems approaches used by these projects further by scaling value chain services to 60% of households in targeted regions, a larger amount than past programs.
By targeting diverse value chains, the project also aims to positively impact multiple household revenue streams for 170,000 families, thereby advancing reductions in poverty by 15%. And as more rural farming households are reached, including 100,000 youth and 138,000 women, the incentives for the private sector grow and entire local agriculture and food systems are strengthened.