Voices from the field

Voices from the field 1

Senegal: Short supply chain marketing experiences

Since October 2013, farmers’ organizations have been involved in an agricultural cooperative experiment called Sell Sellal, which facilitates the distribution of healthy fruits and vegetables in Dakar. These are sold in weekly niche markets developed and managed by the cooperative with the support of Enda Pronat (www.endapronat.org).

“This initiative represents a significant opportunity for producers since the cooperative buys the products at a much higher price than the conventional market (50 to 100 FCFA more per kilogram purchased).”
Ndeye Binta Dione, head of markets Sell Sellal.

The main results of Sell Sellal:
1. Between 2013 and 2016, sales volumes were multiplied by 10 (with 1 250 t / week);
2. In 2015, turnover reached 41.946 million FCFA and benefited 102 family farms, including between 5 and 7 employees;
3. The cooperative now has an official structure and is moving towards autonomy.

“The Dakar consum’actors can now eat vegetables free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in the 4 distribution points installed in Daka.”
Maty Seck, ASD vegetable seller.

In parallel the peasant organization Woobin, member of Sell Sellal and supported by Enda Pronat, established a new system of wholesaling in 2015. The wholesale market is based on a circular economic logic, is guaranteed by a monitoring and quality control system, and increases producer awareness about healthy and sustainable agriculture. This allowed for the purchase of 24, 630 tonnes of onions in 2016 at 50 CFA/kg more than the conventional price – contributing to the access of healthy vegetables to the populations in rural and urban areas and the empowerment of women.

Voices from the field 2

Launch of a new vegetable box system

Gian Paolo Berta, Les Jardins de Nyon, Switzerland

My name is Gian Paolo Berta and I am the coordinator of the LCA (Local Contract Agriculture or Community Supported Agriculture) “Les Jardins de Nyon” – a new local agriculture project, wanted by the city. First we had to find a place for deliveries and drop-off. We contacted various existing associations but it didn’t work. It seems the perception of organisations supporting contractual farming is not very positive here. Finally the town council found us a warehouse. When we visited for the first time, it seemed cold and wet, not really a ballroom! But we have renovated it a bit and now we are satisfied with the result. We are pleased to have been able to start deliveries. It was important for us to get into the thick of it, but we did not manage to get the number of contracts we hoped. We lack a bit of visibility, but I think above all it is important to convey the values of contract farming in the community. To convince people to join, you must speak of food and agricultural issues and introduce contract farming as one of the solutions – have a positive message. Joining contract farming structures is a simple act – they are accessible to everyone – provided that the reasons are known. We are just a drop participating in a bigger change. It is important to present it like that.

Voices from the field 3

Local markets: Healthy and accessible produce

Lola Esquivel, ATC – Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (Farmworkers Association), Nicaragua

I am a producer affiliated to the ATC. Since 2001 I started going to local markets, which represented an alternative to generate income and improve my quality of life and that of my family.
Its important for me as a producer to be able to show people directly what you produce, otherwise the role of women is invisible. It also makes it possible to bring fresh, healthy and accessible produce to the consumer.
The most rewarding aspect is the direct transfer of produce from the producer to the consumer, because normally the intermediaries take advantage of small scale producers and consumers.
The initiative of developing local markets also contributes to a better diet because the tomato, squash or other fruit and vegetables you eat are natural products and have been organically grown.