Farmers at the COOPEDELSI cooperative in Senegal
 © GIZ

Supporting local development in Sibassor

Awareness, training and seeds:
Assistance for the COOPEDELSI cooperative


Projektdaten

CONTEXT AND CHALLENGES

Decline in production due to the pandemic

More than 60 per cent of the working population in Senegal are employed in the agricultural sector, which has been dealt a particularly hard blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kaolack region in western Senegal was no exception in this regard: ‘It was rough – the pandemic really hit us hard,’ says Ababacar Sy Diallo, an agricultural technician and a member of COOPEDELSI. The Coopérative pour le Dévelopement local de Sibassor (COOPEDELSI), which is the original French name of the cooperative, was established in the municipality of Sibassor in 2015 with the aim of promoting local development. COOPEDELSI has 1,900 members from the local community, whereby 700 of its members are women. The members are spread out across various groups in 60 different sections of the municipality. The work conducted by COOPEDELSI focuses on training in cooperative principles, agricultural entrepreneurship, vegetable farming, livestock farming and the processing and marketing of member products. The members of the cooperative saw their production levels fall sharply during the pandemic. Some were forced to stop working completely, while others fell further and further into debt.

Invest for Jobs works with associations such as COOPEDELSI in order to improve business ecosystems in the agricultural sector.

‘We knew that if GIZ supported COOPEDELSI, it would enable COOPEDELSI to offer better help and support to its member organisations,’ says Djibril Diop, a technical advisor at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Senegal. The difficulties caused by the pandemic made the provision of further support all the more important.

PROJECT APPROACH AND PROJECT GOALS

Raising awareness and safeguarding employment

With the help of Invest for Jobs, COOPEDELSI has not only contributed to a national plan for fighting the pandemic; it has also been able to help its members in the villages around Sibassor. Radio stations were used to provide the local population with information about the virus and its impact, and some 20 groups of women were taught how to make face masks, soap and bleaching agents to disinfect surfaces. Those people who were forced to reduce production or stop producing altogether because of the pandemic, and who therefore accumulated debt, were given seeds and were thus able to increase their income. These initiatives, all of which were supported by Invest for Jobs, improved the production situation for many members and prevented the loss of numerous jobs.

STATUS AND OUTLOOK

A model for other associations

Although the assistance measures implemented to deal with the pandemic have been completed, Invest for Jobs still plans to keep supporting the cooperative in order to ensure that it can offer its members even more services. The focus here will be on administration, financial management, marketing and the provision of agricultural inputs and equipment. ‘COOPEDELSI is a cooperative that’s growing,’ says Diop. ‘It was established a relatively short time ago, but you can already see how well it’s developed. Very few cooperatives in Senegal have such highly qualified technical teams and well-structured local organisations, both of which offer an important benefit.’ At the same time, the members of the cooperative greatly appreciate the work being done by Invest for Jobs. Like his colleagues, Diallo is therefore optimistic about the future: ‘This assistance enables us to serve our country and support the development of its agricultural industry.’

COOPEDELSI is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the context of Invest for Jobs on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project status

Completed

Project locations


Senegal District Ngoth

Project objectives

Agricultural sector development COVID-19 awareness job-preservation sustaining production

Sector

Agri-Business

A project with

Chambers and associations

Partners

Contact

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Press contact

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