Sustainable food systems and management of natural resources in Senegal

In Senegal, the Uni4Coop consortium composed of ULB-Cooperation and Eclosio, focuses on the implementation of sustainable food systems and the management of natural resources, with the funding from the Belgian Cooperation. Through agriculture, beekeeping and the transformation of fruits and vegetables, the aim is to improve incomes, particularly women’s, by promoting and using agro-ecological practices.


Financial partner

belgique partenaire du développement


In Senegal, despite the importance of the primary industry, its agro-pastoral potential and the efforts made under recent programs aiming for food self-sufficiency such as the PRACAS (Program to Accelerate the Pace of Senegalese Agriculture) and the PNAR (National Rice Self-Sufficiency Program), populations remain highly dependent on imports. Two factors explain this food dependency: the low price of the imported food and a population growth of 2.5% per year coupled with the level of urbanization, about 3.3% per year. These factors lead to a rise in demand, especially in large urban centers.

Furthermore, rural areas and the agricultural sector remain less attractive. The agricultural sector has a significant number of constraints and developing value chains can be difficult. The insertion of the younger rural population as well as their takeover and modernization of family exploitations represent a major issue for sustainable food systems.

Women play an important role in Senegalese agriculture. Even though they are not a homogeneous social group, they have many challenges in common such as:

  • Women are broadly disadvantaged compared to men on the land question, both socially and culturally. Despite the National Domain Act, they don’t have equal access to land. This inequality tends to be reinforced in a context of privatization, pressure, and land speculation.
  • Women’s work is divided between domestic duties and productive activities. Although women are the pillar of the family, their role is often not recognized and they are not given the chance to make decisions.
  • Usually, women are the ones who take care of the follow-up of agricultural production. Surpluses are either kept for self-consumption or are sold (which implies they are processed sometimes), contributing in both cases to household consumption.


Senegal Oriental (Niokolo-Koba National Park periphery); Mbour/Fatick road


Producers develop sustainable and inclusive food systems contributing to the protection and restoration of agrosystems and their areas.


In Sénégal Oriental:

Local partners Am Be Koun – Solidarité (ABK-S) strengthens the most dynamic EIGs (Economic Interest grouping), especially through:

  • Technical support: market gardening equipment, fences, wells, processing plants, honey-houses, and modern beekeeping.
  • Organizational support: administrative and financial management support.

This project’s activities are focused on the outskirts of the Niokolo-Koba National Park and help in preserving this protected area.

Mbour/Fatick axis:

APAF Sénégal , the local NGO is suggesting a new agroforestry program to family farmers in order to increase crop yields ecologically and sustainably. In addition to developing family farms, APAF Senegal also supports the EIG of women practicing market gardening, as well as local communities located near the Mbédap classified forest, to help better preserve this endangered biodiversity area.


In order to make projects more substantial and perennial, local NGO partners are taking part in training courses on administrative and financial management, as well as project monitoring and evaluation, using digital tools such as Kobocollect.

Territorial and academic approach

Working towards sustainable food systems requires a holistic approach of the territories. To do so, we mainly use TAPE, a tool developed by the FAO for Agroecology Performance Evaluation that allows projects to be adapted based on the level of agroecological transition of a specific area. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index tool (WEAI) works as a complementary tool with TAPE to help improve the level of control women have over important issues of their lives in their household, community, and economy.

As an NGO university, ULB-Cooperation Senegal will work alongside universities—such as Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD)—to co-design tools and knowledge and/or update old knowledge and skills for an improved agroecological transition in the different areas. Master’s internships and theses are offered at the UCAD but also at l’Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB – the Free University of Brussels) and the Faculty of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech to help the research for this program.


The program aims at further promoting a transition towards sustainable food systems in which rural communities are involved in protecting their ecosystem and are part of a sustainable economy model and gain awareness on the socio-ecological capacities of the areas.

We are increasing the food security, nutritional security, economic security and health security of producers and households living inside intervention areas, especially women and the youth.

This measure helps to improve the living standards of these communities in the long term, which are still affected by a high prevalence of poverty and poor performances in the agricultural sector.



1.488.008 €


January 2022 – december 2026

Contact persons : Ousmane Niang et Déborah Chantrie

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