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Oxfam Novib - Opportunities for scaling up Agroforestry in Senegal

Client: Oxfam Novib
Period: 2012

Oxfam Novib commissioned Partners for Innovation to assess the feasibility of scaling up Agroforestry in Senegal. This study was carried out in July 2012 by Saskia de Lint and Frank van Schoubroek (GOVGA). Based on the interviews with interested organisations and farmers in Senegal, the opportunities and threats for large scale implementation of Agroforestry have been identified.

In the 80s and 90s several agroforestry projects have successfully been implemented in Senegal. Although many of these projects are now being abandoned, local people still have a positive attitude towards agroforestry and are knowledgeable about the technology. Especially land ownership, land use rights, existing policies and legislation seem to impede large scale implementation of Agroforestry.

During the field visits Saskia and Frank contacted several initiatives and organisations dealing with local rural development, food security and climate adaptation – subjects with a strong relation with agroforestry.

5-phase plan
The project in Senegal is part of a more elaborate cooperation between the three organisations to increase large scale implementation of agroforestry in several countries throughout Africa. After a conclusive feasibility study in Niger in 2011, Partners for Innovation and GOVGA have developed a five phases plan (from feasibility to full scale implementation) for scaling up Agroforestry in the Sahel region.

Agroforestry is a technology by which useful trees are intercropped with agricultural crops. Agroforestry has particular benefits, especially in semi-arid regions in Africa. The trees will preserve the fertile soil and retain the scarce water in the area with higher Agricultural yields as a result. The trees provide valuable products like: feed, leaves for fertilising and wood fuel. Benefits include restoration of degraded land, doubling food grain production, and more diverse cropping patterns with opportunities for women, landless and pastoralists. Additionally this agricultural system is more resilient against climate change than traditional systems. Across the Sahel, the potential for agroforestry is estimated at 50 million hectares (the surface of France); with the chance to provide food for an additional 25 million people.

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