“Not a day goes by that I don’t receive an order,” Binta Ndèye says happily. The farmer has specialised in the commercialisation of agroecological products. She comes from the small village of Landou in the Thiès region. Landou is located in Senegal – a country that is committed to agroecological transformation at the national level. In May 2019, the newly elected president Macky Sall declared agroecology and the associated restructuring of agriculture to be a priority of his five-year term. Representatives from agriculture, local grassroots organisations, municipalities, non-governmental organisations, academia and the private sector then joined forces to form the alliance “Dynamics for an agro-ecological transition in Senegal” (in French: Dynamique pour une Transition AgroEcologique au Sénégal, DyTAES). The alliance is shaping political dialogue, drawing up action plans and, through this networked approach, has made Senegal a prime example of a successful agroecological transition in Africa. The alliance is coordinated by ENDA Pronat, the managing organisation of the Knowledge Hub West Africa.
Networking is also the keyword for Binta Ndèye from Landou. In the field of marketing, she is actively involved in shaping agro-ecological agriculture. She pursued her interest in sustainable agriculture early on and joined the Sell Selall cooperative. This cooperative trades and farms exclusively on the basis of agro-ecological principles. Together with Sell Selall, Binta Ndèye succeeded in raising awareness for organic products and set up four sales points for organic products in the capital Dakar. A total of about three tonnes of local and organically produced food is sold there every month. The products are certified through participatory guarantee systems and come from a total of 120 producers who have joined the cooperative.
The day before the markets, Binta Ndèye collects the products from the farmers to sell them to the consumers at fair prices. She sees active dialogue with consumers to educate them and raise their awareness as an important part of her work. Only through this can a long-term demand for healthy, high-quality and safe food be guaranteed. The numbers prove her right. Through her successful initiative, Binta Ndèye achieves a monthly turnover of 3,000,000 FCFA, the equivalent of about 4,500 euros.
In her mission, Binta Ndèye also participates in the Organic Weekends organised by the NGO Agrecol Afrique. This initiative brings together the various actors in the entire value chain and also serves as a stage for their commercialisation and networking. Agrecol Afrique is not only a member of DyTAES, but also a partner organisation of the Knowledge Hub West Africa. The Organic Weekends create a direct link to action field C of the project, which wants to strengthen the networking of organic actors. A total of four Organic Weekends have been organised so far, with 142 exhibitors and around 3,700 visitors. A total of 23 tonnes of organic products were sold.
Binta Ndèye particularly appreciates the Organic Weekends. Not only can she make new contacts, but she can also draw attention to the issue of agroecology. Because even though her unprecedented efforts are already bearing fruit and she is often contacted due to the good quality of her products, her mission is not over yet.
* This story was originally published on the KCOA Newsletter – Issue no. 2.
Editors/ Authors: KHWA and GIZ-KCOA