January 2023. The Climate and Sustainable Development Actions Club (CSDAC), a group of WAC-SRT and WASCAL students active at Abdou Moumouni University, Niger, won a £ 25,752 Pounds grant from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office’s (FCDO-UK) International Program Fund. The funded project Enhancing Climate resilience and Incomes of Rural Women and Youth through Climate Smart Agriculture and Green Energy aims to stimulate women and youths’ entrepreneurship towards improving their incomes, self- sufficiency and ability to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The project, which will run from January to April 2023, aims to raise climate awareness among community members and build capacities of circa 40 female farmers in soil management, climate resilient farming practices, besides supporting them with a solar powered irrigation system for a whole farming year. With yields anticipated to increase, comes the likelihood of post-harvest losses. So the project will also train 25 women in food processing and packaging, supporting them with basic food processing equipment.

The project goals also include training a group of ten traders in order to improve linkages between food producers and processers with available markets, as well as the traders’ marketing strategies. A final goal is to train a group of 20 young women and 10 young men in installing solar photovoltaic technology for irrigation and household electrification. The latest group of technicians could also assist in setting up the irrigation solar system for the women farmers, as well as provide services to the larger local population in order to scale-up solar energy use in the region. The solar panel technicians will be 30 youth (20 female and 10 males). The group trained in food processing and storing will be formed by 25 women. So all in all, there will be 105 persons divided in 4 groups: 40 women farmers; 25 women processers; 10 traders; and 30 youth solar panel technicians.

In order to achieve its objectives, the project will take an integrated approach that combines practical field training and theoretical lessons, both building on the existing knowledge of the women farmers and introducing techniques that fit into the local context.

The project aims at creating a food value chain that is owned and controlled by women in the Birni Gauré Department, Dosso, Niger. At the end, it will foster the formation of a cooperative association with members from all the project’s target beneficiaries in order to achieve sustainability. Thus, it is ensured that the project’s gains and benefits can be replicated in the long term.

The WAC-SRT team congratulates its proactive members of the CSDAC, for achieving another grant! This presents a further impressive milestone in pursuing their overarching goals of contributing with their knowledge to climate change discussions and to mitigation and adaptation measures in Niger.

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