The launch of the Project to Support Women in Agriculture and Sustainable Development (PAF/AgriFed) was the main attraction of the celebration of International Women's Day, on the 8th of March 2019 in Senegal. Welcomed by the government, the programme, which is the result of a partnership between UN Women and BNP Paribas, will support 30,000 Senegalese women farmers in their quest for a more resilient agriculture that is more environmentally friendly in the face of global warming.
Senegalese women celebrated the 2019 edition of International Women’s Day as part of the launch of a project with a strong economic and environmental impact. The project is the Support for Women in Agriculture and Sustainable Development Project (PAF/AgriFed). With a budget of 1.8 million dollars, or 1 billion CFA francs, the project will run for three years (2019-2021). It consists in making 30,000 Senegalese women farmers, established in regions with high agricultural potential: Saint Louis, Kolda, Tambacounda, Ziguinchor and the Niayes area, economically self-sufficient and more resilient to climate change.
The PAF/AgriFed is based on four major constraints. First, to support women farmers in high-value-added sectors (Shea butter, rice and other market gardening) and help them identify agricultural techniques and seed varieties that are resilient to climate change. Secondly, to help and support women farmers in the formulation of their credit applications, aimed at financing and increasing their activity. Thirdly, to ensure that these women have equitable access to land and productive resources, in particular by engaging in partnerships with the Senegalese State. Fourth, to facilitate women farmers’ contractual relations with major private sector buyers (industrialists, exporters, etc.) and support them in the marketing of their crops.
A project financed by BNP Paribas
The PAF/AgriFed is the result of a partnership between UN Women, which is in charge of the implementation component, and BNP Paribas, which is in charge of financing.
BNP Paribas’s support for the first French bank, the second largest in the euro zone in 2018 by its assets, and 8th international banking groups, reflects its commitment to the global solidarity movement “HeForShe”, which aims to mobilise a strong and active force in favour of gender equality.
“This partnership demonstrates the continued commitment of both institutions to empowering women to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals by 2030. Women are at the heart of Senegal’s emergence and we want to support them in promising agricultural sectors to ensure their sustainable economic empowerment,” said Oulimata Sarr, UN Women Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
The official launch of PAF/AgriFed activities has sparked the interest of the Government of Senegal, which has undertaken to support the programme. “This partnership between UN Women and BNP Paribas is the result of the perfect concordance between the national orientations articulated around the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) and the project’s great ambition to support women farmers in the Senegal River Valley.” Said Salimata Diop Dieng, Minister for Women, Family and Gender.
The Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) is the new reference framework for the Senegalese government’s policies, aimed at leading the country on the path to emergence by 2035. With a strong focus on reforestation, the plan aims to help people out of need by providing each Senegalese man and woman with the means to achieve autonomy through their effective inclusion in the economic system.