The proposed project will be carried out within the departments of Manni and Coalla, in Gnagna province. The two departments are located in the far north of the province with an estimated population of 111,663 spread across 87 villages. Gnagna Province is characterized by high poverty levels with over 46.4% of the population living below the poverty line. The majority of communities in the region are agro-pastoralists highly dependent on the natural resource base for their subsistence. Productivity within the region has been adversely affected by minimal and erratic rainfall, severe environmental degradation, and desertification. This has consequently affected food security, nutrition, and entrenched poverty. An isolated region, the province has low levels of social organization and has one of the highest national illiteracy rates, which resulted in the national government ranking Gnagna as a priority province in the national education campaign.
Women who constitute over 50% of the population are the most affected by the challenges facing the communities of Gnagna Province. In the target departments, Manni and Coalla, women are key contributors to household agricultural production. In most cases, women provide labor for household crop and livestock production. Aside from contributing towards the household production, women have to do household chores and tend to their own fields to increase their personal income. Despite this heavy workload and commitment of women to improve the status of their families, the importance of women's contribution is not valued, let alone rewarded. Training and material support often targets men exclusively, without acknowledging the critical role women play in agricultural production.
The low level of technical training, lack of access to and control over modern agricultural tools by women, who are largely responsible for agricultural production, are among the leading causes of:
- Low adoption and diffusion of new agricultural technologies and hence the low yields.
- Persistent food shortages.
- Environmental degradation, which has a direct impact on agricultural production.
Women have a limited or nonexistent access to credit, which also limits their ability to increase agricultural production through increased inputs, and to increase household income.
World Neighbors utilizes a holistic approach to address livelihood systems in all its programs, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic benefits that can be obtained from integrated land-use systems and improved resource management practices.
Goals & Objectives
The overall goal of the proposed project is to improve the livelihoods of the targeted communities through the promotion of productive and sustainable resource management practices that are socio-economically viable. To achieve this goal, the following specific objectives have been defined:
Obj.1: Facilitate skills improvement in environmental management and rehabilitation of degraded sites across proposed program areas.
Obj.2. Build capacities of women in improved crop and livestock production.
Obj.3: Facilitate skills improvement in the production and marketing of identified high value crops (HVCs).
Obj.4: Improve women's access to savings and credit, and enhance their skills in entrepreneurship.
Obj.5: Build capacities of program communities in program management.
The project will be implemented using an integrated approach that will ensure environmental conservation while improving the livelihoods of community members.
1.1: Train participants in assisted natural resource regeneration.
1.2: Facilitate the formation of community conservation committees.
1.3: Facilitate acquisition of indigenous tree seeds and saplings for propagation.
1.4: Facilitate establishment of individual and community tree nurseries.
1.5: Train communities on agroforestry practices, soil and water conservation.
2.1: Train and build capacities of women in livestock and poultry management (e.g. women para-vets).
2.2: Facilitate establishment of fodder/pastures.
2.3: Facilitate acquisition of cows, goats and poultry.
2.4: Facilitate acquisition of veterinary kits, water tanks and other tools for improved livestock husbandry.
2.5: Facilitate exchange/cross visits.
3.1: Train women farmers' experimenters in production of identified HVCs.
3.2: Train participants in value addition and marketing.
3.3: Train participants in soil fertility improvement techniques.
3.4: Facilitate acquisition of inputs/seeds, equipment, etc.
4.1: Train participants in business/enterprise development.
4.2: Facilitate the formation of common interest marketing groups.
4.3: Promote savings strategies in the target communities.
4.4: Introduce savings and credit group model in the community.
4.5: Facilitate formation and build the capacity of savings & credit committees.
4.6: Facilitate access to interest-free loans by vulnerable women.
5.1: Training on financial and project management.
5.2: Facilitate literacy classes for women.
5.3: Capacity building of program committees and volunteers.
5.4: Facilitate local networking and advocacy.