Mauritania - Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) - June 2022
Oumoul Khair Sidi Ahmed lives in Limdheibeh Village in the Kankossa Municipality in Essaba, in southwestern Mauritania near the border with Mali. Oumoul, who has four daughters and several grandchildren, is the sole provider for her family. Recovered from a stroke that left her partially paralyzed, she works in her 250 square meters market garden plot with other women from her village despite her disability. The particularity of Limdheibeh Village is that it is mainly inhabited by women.
Before the arrival of IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility project (RPSF) implemented through the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Communal Equipment and the Organization of Rural Producers Project (PROGRES), Oumoul and her family had a host of problems, including the lack of irrigation water and good seeds. She also had no fencing to protect her garden from animals that destroyed her crops, and she lacked the proper tools she needed to work with. Small-holder producers like Oumoul encountered many 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.
“The project gave me a solar power system and water pump, a water tank and hoses for irrigation, and all kinds of tools that help me do my cultivation. We couldn’t garden for most of the year before because of lack of water, just September through March. But now I can grow vegetable crops all through the year, which helps me feed my family and allows me to sell in the local market for a steady income.”
PROGRES aims to improve food security and nutrition, increase the incomes of poor rural households, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on food imports. Activities target poor rural households with a special focus on women and young people. The people in the region have struggled for years to stop the desert from taking over arable land. Climate change is making things worse. IFAD is working with communities to create a Great Green Wall to hold back the Sahara Desert.
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