Niger, Burkina Faso
Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth
CNFA implements the USAID Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth (REGIS-AG) program, supported by a consortium of partners in Niger and Burkina Faso. REGIS-AG is part of USAID’s Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) initiative; it is designed to increase incomes of vulnerable households by increasing the performance and inclusiveness of the cowpea, poultry and small ruminant value chains. Ultimately, REGIS-AG aims to increase resilience in targeted agro-pastoral and marginal agricultural zones of Niger and Burkina Faso.
CNFA serves as consortium lead and provides strategic oversight to REGIS-AG activities. We are joined by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Vétérinaires sans Frontières-Belgium (VSF), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Association Nigérienne pour la Dynamisation des Initiatives Locales (Karkara), Association for Catalyzing Pastoral Development in Niger (AREN), Association Nodde Nooto (A2N), and the Association pour la Gestion de l’Environnement et le Développement (AGED). REGIS-AG partners bring extensive experience in developing value chains, business enabling environment, animal health systems, natural resources management, and conflict mitigation to implementation.
REGIS-AG uses a facilitation approach, aiming to improve the functioning of a targeted system and catalyze systemic, sustainable change without becoming embedded in the system. Working out of two offices in Niamey and Zinder, Niger and two offices in Ouagadougou and Dori, Burkina Faso, the REGIS-AG team applies this approach to four main focus areas:
- Identify Opportunities through value chain and end-market analysis;
- Strengthen vertical and horizontal value chain linkages and relationships in the cowpea, poultry and small ruminant value chains: CNFA will work with vulnerable farmers and producer groups to connect them to buyers and traders through a series of trade fairs and value chain platforms to formalize relationships and encourage greater marketing opportunities;
- Strengthen input supply and other supporting services to improve smallholder and agro-pastoralist access to interconnected markets: Input suppliers and service providers are critical to the production of quality crops and healthy animals. CNFA concentrates on improving the delivery of and access to veterinary services and feed provision centers for poultry and small ruminants and improving the supply of agricultural inputs for cowpeas, with specific emphasis on the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags for improved storage practices;
- Increase access to finance, innovation, and private sector investments: A major constraint for actors throughout REGIS-AG’s target value chains is access to affordable financial services. Women are specifically limited in borrowing given their limited ownership of property or assets. REGIS-AG will work with private sector investment to design and market finance products that will expand access to financial services to project beneficiaries.
- Improve the enabling environment for local and regional private sector investment: Both building the trust between value chain actors and increasing their voice at the policy level are critical components in facilitating more efficient and profitable value chains in Burkina Faso and Niger. In helping to deconstruct some of the identified negative practices and behaviors, REGIS-AG promotes innovation and more equitable benefits for actors operating in the three target value chains.
A central cross-cutting component of REGIS-AG is women’s empowerment and increasing female participation in the formal economy. Improving the economic, social, and cultural status of women is not only critical to improving the long-term stability of households that face severe environmental shocks, but important in and of itself. REGIS-AG employs a comprehensive approach to engage both men and women in overcoming structural biases and barriers in the three target value chains and in input services. Reaching and improving women’s livelihoods is a key cornerstone of the REGIS-AG program and is vital to its overall success.