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Agroecology: Fostering improved access to land and natural resources

Abstract : This presentation discusses the experience of Gora Ndiaye, President of the Pan African Association of Gardens and the Ecological and Organic Agriculture Platform for Senegal and how an integrated agroforestry, agroecology and community supported agriculture can regenerate depleted soils and create incentives for youths to enter farming. The Agro-Ecological Farm School in Kaydara was established to address the challenges of villages being emptied of their youth, who move to the city or foreign countries. Young people no longer know how to live on their land where the soil is impoverished by monoculture conducted for decades and consequent erosion. The farmers are selling their land. Young people who want to stay in the village will soon be ‘landless’. The farm is located in the Fatick region, 150 km south of Dakar. It opened its doors in 2007 to welcome the first candidates for internship training. The action of the farm is to train farmers, young and old, women and men, in agroecological practices of diverse and complementary activities taking into account the necessity to restore soil fertility, protect the environment, and manage water. The registration criterion for a candidate to training was namely the ownership of at least one hectare of land. However this was not applicable at the opening of the training center. In order to resolve the case of young people without land ‘motivated’ by agroecology, land was acquired and allocated to those few young people at the start. The process has evolved since 2007 and gradually strategy has evolved: several mayors are now working with them to anchor agroecology in their land. Twenty young people from one same municipality were trained, and granted their 20 hectares of land with 80 hectares reserved by the Mayor council for future candidates. In another municipality 3 hectares were planned for the installation of 12 young people. In Fimela, where the farm is situated, local authorities have invested in the villages to explain the staffing approach of a hectare of land each young candidate following the training, so 20 hectares have been mobilized for 20 young people. The engagement with municipalities serves to accompany the youth as they develop their farms to help also contribute to reforestation of the commons: 10,000 coconut trees have been planted in 5 years. The choice of coconut is due to environmental and economic reasons: the coconut tree’s speed of growth, the shade it provides to understory plants, the sustainable production of the coconut’s economic value by use of all its parts (nuts, leaves, trunk), the brake it presents to marine erosion, its fibrous roots, its majestic beauty. The engagement with municipalities also supports women in the production of reproducible seeds. Young farmers are in internship for a period of 9 months to 2 years. During their training they are provided different capital necessary for their installation: » Land capital; » The vegetable capital: fruit trees (mainly coconut trees), forest trees, forage; » The wildlife capital: poultry, rabbits, or donkeys. According to the choice of young farmers; » The seed capital; » The capital of agro-ecological knowledge and technological knowledge; » Financial capital consists of the sales revenue of their productions (2/3 for students, 1/3 for the Farm School). They design their personal project for their farm and submit it to the end of their training period. This project was highlighted for its pertinence and consistence with the principles and objectives of agroecology as it contributes to promote youth employment and prevent rural depopulation, ensure food security or food sovereignty of families, improve living conditions and offer prospects, fight against desertification, land degradation and salinization, restore soil fertility and preserve biodiversity.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 5:45:43 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 1:06:03 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-02736456, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 476053

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E.Dmundo Barrios, Gora Ndiaye, Allison Marie Loconto, Remi Cluset. Agroecology: Fostering improved access to land and natural resources. 4.World Congress on Agroforestry, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FRA., May 2019, Montpellier, France. ⟨hal-02736456⟩

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