Scaling up innovation to integrate nutrition and women’s empowerment into advisory services supporting agroecology in Senegal




Community explaining their results in AE to government officials with media present © Groundswell Inc

In a nutshell

This project builds ground for the agroecological transformation of smallholder farming in Senegal following a holistic bottom-up approach. It is innovative in the sense that it does not suggest a technical solution or product but aims at transforming Senegalese rural advisory services from being largely “supply-led” to “demand-driven”. Therefore, we facilitate changes in local governance structures, organize farmer-to-farmer learning, nourish smallholders’ capacities with a focus on women as innovators and create market linkages. This way, we foster changes in organisational and social practices conducive to agroecology and gender equity.


Assessment by the Jury

Why is it needed?

This project is important in that it goes to the heart of the matter to change government systems to enable scaling and its holistic approach, starting from a food systems’ perspective. Policy development from the ground up is a necessary complement to policies from top down, as it merges the local and national interests best.


What is innovative about it?

The approaches selected to promote the development of an agroecology-based food system, i.e., changing the system from the ground up by using caravans and sentinel villages, is novel and certainly promising. The suggested targeted transformation process towards autonomy and community-led activities is a further plus and potential “ladder” to success. In addition, the pro-active inclusion of political leaders; a food systems approach and collaborative feeling of the inclusive consortium are good indications for successful implementation.


"In particular, the emphasis on women and the more vulnerable households as well as the inclusion of the private sector contribute to paving the way to success. It also has in it the potential for a wider application."


Challenges ahead

There are however also challenges such as attitudinal changes in government in some 5 months training but can expect that at least the mechanisms and systems will get set up in the proof-of-concept period. The local experience of the consortium members is further assurance of a positive outcome.


Main applicant

Groundswell International Inc. is a partnership of local organizations and their network of grassroots community groups, catalysing the transition from unsustainable agriculture and extractive economies to regenerative, agroecological, just farming and local food systems. Groundswell oversees project implementation, provides capacity building for consortium members and facilitates learning and documentation.


Consortium members

Agrecol Afrique and AgriBio Services, are Senegalese non-profit organizations working towards a food system based on agroecology and entrepreneurship for change within the framework of the realization of the right to food. AgriBio Services and Agrecol Afrique are responsible for project implementation in the field and foster relationships with local government, collaboration and mutual learning.


Soreetul is a private company specialized in the online-marketing of agro-food products and natural organic cosmetics processed in Senegal. Soreetul supports the market development for women’s innovations (e.g., processed agroecological products).


See the other semi-finalists / other finalists

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Digitally empowered Youth as Agroecological Change Agents

This project is aiming to digitally empower rural youth as providers of agroecological advisory in small-scale potato farming in India.


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This project aims at developing a concept for the transmission (and repetition) of agroecological practices in a lively and conducive environment for smallholder farming families in India and Tanzania.


Potato Diversity Monitoring and E-Commerce

This project works towards an integrated digital advisory solution linking potato biodiversity monitoring with citizen science.


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The Assessment was made by the Expert jury and does not reflect GIZ´s or BMZ´s opinion or success estimation.