Learn how Peace Corps Senegal teaches market skills to increase the populations food security.
PCVs and their counterparts train entrepreneurs on the economic opportunities and pitfalls of food production and distribution.
Agribusiness education benefits even very small-scale farming and gardening. PCVs equip farmers, gardeners, students, and women’s groups with strategies to maximize profit. Together they assess the comparative advantage of selling produce at different times in the growing season than the bulk of the supply. Cost analysis, including time and labor, which are often overlooked as having value, may reveal more profitable niches in the market. Additionally, PCVs can serve as a link between farmers and markets best suited to them.
PCVs encourage product diversification, which helps diet expansion, competition, expanded product availability, and profitability. Successful projects have included propagating alternative crops for local and foreign markets, producing shea butter, and growing bissap and cashews for sale on a large scale.
School gardens provide a useful arena for these lessons, which illustrate basic math, gardening, and market skills.
PCVs facilitate start-up production for small food transformation companies and co-ops. They connect their communities to government and NGO training programs. Projects include dried fruit, juice, jams, and porridge.
Appropriate technology adds value chains and accelerates food production. Millet machines significantly reduce the time women spend pounding the grain by hand to make it ready to cook. The peanut sheller similarly mechanizes what has traditionally been time-consuming manual labor. Additionally, it can be produced and sold locally once masons receive training.