Description of the project: Facing increasing droughts and water scarcity, inland areas in Senegal need to preserve food sovereignty through climate resilient and sustainable agriculture. The Afrika Mandela Ranch is an ecological farm school which also hosts an elementary school. Through a cooperative of women from surrounding villages (Mbondy, Kalassan, Keer Saer), it implements agroecology and income generating food production for women. Focusing on local natural resources and preserving the ambient ecosystem, the project fights erosion by planting trees and increasing soil fertility.
Climate Impact: The women agricultural cooperative supported by Mandela Ranch rebuilds the socio-environmental ecosystem with fruit plantations and agroforestry (planting trees around vegetable crops). The trees absorb CO2 and reduce soil erosion and ecosystem degradation by regenerating and fertilizing unproductive soils. The crop diversification helps mitigating and adapting to climate change. This projects enables more sustainable returns with increased revenues for women and enhances sustainable development at local level.
Gender Impact: The creation of a women’s cooperative has led to sustainable economic development for women and the community. Women have been trained on agroecological skills and product transformation: processing of fruit, vegetables and plants with small production lines. The project includes literacy courses on income generating activities, thus fostering women’s economic autonomy and emancipation. Through the positive results – well-being and better child nutrition – social cohesion in the community has improved.
Scalability /replicability: The Afrika Mandela Ranch runs an elementary school for children of the neighbouring villages, ensuring that pupils integrate and replicate climate-resilient behaviour in their daily life. This sustainable ranch model, combining children’s education, capacity building for women and ecological, healthy local food production, can be replicated in many countries.