Food Security in Senegal
Food security programs such as agricultural training and food banks sustain the nutritional needs of communities through all seasons and any unforeseen environmental challenges.
Almost all epicenters in Senegal have food banks, and in addition to the tens of thousands that can be stored at the epicenter – the average capacity is 35,285 kilograms – at the community level and 17 villages have their own food banks. These food banks are instrumental in allowing farmers to store their crops instead of selling them immediately, and get a better price for them at market, as they are also essential buffers against famine and unforeseen food shortages.
Following the rainy season of July to September, The Hunger Project-Senegal sees its small harvest in October, and then its larger harvest in November and December during the beginning of the dry season that lasts from October to June. Five of the epicenters have food processing equipment such as a thresher, millet mills and a refrigerator. This food processing equipment allows the partners to sell their crops at a higher price in the market.
All but two distribute fertilizer and have fertilizer subsidies provided by the government and six of the epicenters have revolving loan funds. Between all the epicenters there is a total of 79 active food security animators and eight of the epicenters have crop diversification programs, which contribute to greater nutritional health in the epicenter communities as well as help to provide resilience against climate change, by lessening soil nutrient depletion and by providing back-up in case one crop unexpectedly fails.
Epicenter partners in Senegal are raising cows, goats, sheep and chickens. The main crops grown are millet, rice, black-eyed peas, peanut and greens.