Farming and livestock rearing to eradicate poverty in Chad
14-09-2017 | di COOPI

Farming and livestock rearing to eradicate poverty in Chad

Approximately 11 million people in the region of Lake Chad are in a state of malnutrition and extreme food insecurity and require urgent aid. Many of them are refugees from neighbouring Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon, as well as nationals forced to abandon the islands of Lake Chad and take refuge in the country’s hinterland in order to escape from Boko Haram armed forces, which have been on the rampage in the region since 2013.

With help from AICS (the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation), COOPI has decided to intervene with its "Integrated emergency program to improve the food security of vulnerable people in the region of Lake Chad".

Since March 2017, we have been providing relief to those who are most at risk, deprived of an essential right: the right to adequate nutrition. The project prioritises women (who account for approximately 70% of its beneficiaries), starting with those who are the heads of their households and those with many children. Roughly 1,390 families in villages in the departments of Mamdi and Kaya are currently benefitting from our assistance. COOPI’s work is mainly focused on agriculture, livestock rearing and passing on skills and experience to local players.

Land and goats for every family

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The main aim of agricultural assistance is to increase production and improve its variety so that households benefitting from the project may be able to satisfy their nutritional needs on their own.

To this end, COOPI makes every effort to guarantee that every family has access to land, by reclaiming arid fields. ANADER (the National Agency for Rural Development Support) plays an important role in achieving this goal, thanks to its in-depth knowledge of the territory and its problems. The project also envisages the distribution of seeds and small farming equipment.

In order to relaunch goat farming, a number of households will be given the chance to improve their production capacity. This will be done by providing them with vaccines, food supplements, equipment and forage production techniques. Others will receive a grant for acquiring small ruminants (approximately three goats per household) at the agricultural fairs COOPI organises in partnership with other local players.

Training as well as aid

In order to improve the agricultural skills of local people, we are particularly concentrating on training. COOPI is supporting families as they carry out the production process so as to teach them useful techniques when choosing high quality seed and storing it. This work aims to improve their ability to store both seed and food in order to survive times of extreme drought and famine. Our training programme is run thanks to the support of local partners such as ANADER and the ALMP (the Association against Malnutrition and Poverty), a Chadian NGO with whom we work in order to foster the development of good governance systems.