Mauritania - Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) - June 2022
Hawa Sadio Baby does market gardening together with her husband, Zakaria Amara Baby, and eight children in the town of Gouraye in southwestern Mauritania’s semi-arid Guidimaka Region. Agriculture is central to the economy of Gouraye, like almost all the municipalities in the region. Small producers encounter obstacles to their development, in particular climatic conditions or the lack of logistical means. IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) helped reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their farming activities and safeguarded their livelihoods, making sure that weaker groups like youth, women and persons with disabilities were included.
The RPSF was implemented through the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Communal Equipment and the Organization of Rural Producers Project (PROGRES) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It helped small-scale producers improve their agricultural productivity by ensuring quick access to inputs, such as certified climate-resilient seeds and farming equipment, that were impossible to get because of COVID-related lockdowns and movement restrictions.
Before the pandemic, smallholders could farm only during the rainy winter period, September to February or March, then migrated to the capital Nouakchott, or even further to Senegal or Mali for the rest of the year. But COVID lockdowns brought travelling to a halt, resulting in an extraordinary loss of income. Additional funds granted through the RPSF supplemented the PROGRES project by providing water towers, pipes and other equipment that make it possible for them to irrigate and cultivate their vegetable crops throughout the year. Now they have doubled their farming season and are proud to show their production of onions, eggplant, carrots, watermelon and other produce even during the dry summer months.
Agriculture is central to the economy of Gouraye, like almost all the municipalities in the region. Small producers encounter obstacles to their development, in particular climatic conditions or the lack of logistical means. The IFAD grant will help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their farming activities and safeguard their livelihoods.
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