Opening Remarks for Ambassador Mushingi – Launch of Feed the Future 2.0 Country Plan and Kawolor Project

Ambassador Mushingi and Senegalese Ministry of Agriculture Secretary General Dogo Seck visiting the booths which demonstrate Feed the Future agricultural products and services in the different regions of Senegal. (Photo US Embassy)

Opening Remarks for Ambassador Mushingi

Launch of Feed the Future 2.0 Country Plan and Kawolor Project

 April 26, 2018 – Place du Souvenir, Dakar

(As prepared)

 

Monsieur le Ministre de l’agriculture et de l’équipement rural,

Mesdames et Messieurs les représentants des ministères, agences et services techniques,

Mesdames et Messieurs les représentants de la Société civile, du secteur privé,

et Partenaires Techniques et Financiers,

Cher partenaires,

 

Thank you for joining us today for the launch of the second phase of the United States Government’s Feed the Future Initiative in Senegal.

Since its launch in 2009, Feed the Future has worked around the world to reduce poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. It has helped lift more than 9 million people out of poverty, and touched the lives of millions more.

Last November, I stood in front of many of you as you were embarking on a workshop, reflecting on your lessons learned from the first phase to help us craft a new strategy for the next five years.

Since then, we have worked extensively with the Government of Senegal, civil society, the private sector, and technical and financial partners to ensure our approach complements ongoing efforts.

As one of only 12 countries selected by the United States Government for this second phase, Senegal possesses enormous potential for economic growth through agriculture. It has also demonstrated strong partnership and engagement to advance investments and reforms.

Under Feed the Future, our common goal is to reduce hunger, malnutrition, and poverty for the Senegalese people. We seek to do this through three objectives:

  • harnessing agriculture for economic growth,
  • increasing resilience, and
  • improving nutrition.

Last year alone, Naatal Mbay helped 130,000 Senegalese farmers access 18 billion FCFA ($34 million) of credit in order to produce more than 250,000 tons of rice, maize, and millet. This created more than 15,000 jobs and bolstered food security. In addition, locally produced rice is now readily available in Senegal’s urban centers.

The next step is to unlock agriculture’s potential for youth employment and women’s economic empowerment. For this, we count on the Government of Senegal’s leadership to help create an environment favorable to rural entrepreneurs by making it easier to register a business, access financing, and hire staff.

To build resilience, the first phase of Feed the Future helped farmers and fishers access insurance and climate information. COMFISH supported the creation of the Plan d’Adaptation National pour la Pêche, helping ensure that Senegal’s fisheries can continue to provide lasting jobs and food security. And Yaajeende helped nearly 1 million people in eastern Senegal improve child nutrition.

During this next phase, we will build on the success of Yaajeende with a new activity called “Kawolor,” which in the Diola language means prosperity and productivity.

Using the same nutrition-led agriculture approach, Kawolor aims to help 150,000 households become more prosperous and productive over the next five years. It will help improve child nutrition by increasing the production, sale, and consumption of diverse and nutritious foods. And it will strengthen the capacity of local partners to ensure the food security and resilience of rural families.

Together with our partners, we look forward to the day when emergency food support is no longer needed, and communities are equipped and prepared to face the next environmental crisis or economic challenge.

Through Kawolor and other Feed the Future activities that we will be launching in the coming months, that day is coming closer. And Senegal is growing a stronger, more stable, and more inclusive agriculture sector.