Together with Oxfam and the NGO Stop Sahel, Partners for Innovation developed a project to pilot smallholder agroforestry enterprises in Mali.
Stop Sahel has been working with farmers for 25 years to develop ecological agroforestry gardens. Some simple investments – like in a well, micro-dosages or fencing – can make such gardens more productive.
Partners for Innovation will help make business plans for three groups of smallholders and pilot longer term micro-credits (2 to 3 years) to improve garden productivity.
Partners for Innovation supported Afrique Fondation Jeunes (AFJ) in the Sahel in Niger to calculate the benefits of their Agroforestry gardens.
Landowners lend out their barren land so that AFJ can educate young unemployed people to grow crops, trees and animals. AFJ also processes products into dried leaves, oily seeds, bread spreads, teas, and many more products for the urban market.
The main questions that needed to be answered:
- What investments are needed for barren land to become productive?
- After how much time would these be earned back?
AFJ and Partners for Innovation developed a simple model to enter basic data such as investment costs, prices and volumes over the seasons, labour costs, irrigation and marketing to calculate the balance.
The result: turning one hectare into productive land requires a high investment. But with good cash crops such investments are earned back within two years. After that Agroforestry gardens are highly profitable and AFJ´s youth can earn considerable income after having repaid their investors.
The next step is that Partners for Innovation may support AFJ to develop a business plan to attract private capital to expand their Agroforestry gardening activities.
The study was executed in close collaboration with Oxfam-Novib´s Climate-Smart Agroforestry Special Project, which also bore the costs of the study.
Are Agroforestry Garden Enterprises in Niger feasible?
Case: Afrique Fondation Jeunes
Client: Oxfam Novib
Authors: Frank van Schoubroeck (Partner for Innovation) and Zakari Yaou Saidou Soumana (Afrique Fondation Jeunes)
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