The Programme Agroalimentaire pour la Résilience Intégrée et le Développement Economique du Sahel (Pro-ARIDES) is a € 100M programme financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SNV will implement the programme over a period of 10 years with its consortium partners: CARE-Netherlands, Wageningen University & Research and The Royal Tropical Institute, as well as its local partners, national and regional umbrella farmers and pastoralists organisations, local governments and research institutes in the three countries.
Challenges and opportunities in the region
The Sudano-Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger faces many challenges, which, if not mitigated, could have devastating consequences for its populations and beyond. Affected by climate change and a changing environment, it experiences erratic rainfall, strong inequalities within communities, instability and conflicts, degradation of land and water resources, displacement and a fragile food and nutritional situation. All these factors, when put together, result in low levels of resilience that are extremely vulnerable to external shocks such as acute food insecurity and malnutrition many of which were aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, there are enough opportunities that, when harnessed, could reverse these trends.
Agriculture remains the key sector and main source of livelihood. Inclusive value chains could be a source of decent income and the fight against malnutrition. Equipped with matching skills, the youth represents a workforce available for agriculture who can be the engine necessary to transform this sector. Women could, with the right support and empowerment, take key roles in the development of value chains.
Creating decent jobs for these populations would contribute to lowering existing tensions, the attraction of violent extremist groups, and thus improve the stability of the region, in addition to increasing the resistance of the populations to various external shocks.