Le Korsa digs wells and provides training for women's farming cooperatives in rural Tambacounda, helping them to grow produce year-round and develop new food and income sources.

Agriculture is the main source of income for families in Tambacounda.

Starting a community farm may sound like a small venture, but in rural Senegal, the impacts are profound. Le Korsa has helped women in four villages — Sinthian, Dialico, Gadapara, and Fass — form community farms, and they are now growing enough food to feed their families year-round. They also earn significant income from their surplus harvest by selling it in the villages or in local markets.

This is thanks to the well and solar-powered pump we helped them install, which affords them continuous access to water, and to their efficiency and dedication as collectives, which we have helped them to organize. Each is an official Groupement d’Intérêt Économique (GIE), a self-governing body with its own bank account. The women pool the income from selling their surplus produce and reinvest it in seeds and supplies.

Three and a half hectares (just over 8.5 acres) of land across the four villages are now under cultivation by over two hundred women. From seed to harvest, and following the seasons, they grow onions, okra, cabbage, eggplant, bitter eggplant, salad greens, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, and harvest mangoes, papayas and bananas from trees they have planted — a diverse and nutritious supply of fresh fruit and vegetables that were not always available before.

Abib Dieye, Le Korsa’s agricultural trainer, works daily with the women on improved agricultural techniques, so that they can size garden beds, start nurseries, and know when to plant and harvest certain crop varieties. He also works with them on basic accounting skills, so they can better tally their production and earnings. For these women, who have never attended school, this adult education provides a new sense of empowerment and possibility.

“My hope, as an agricultural technician, is to help the women become experts in all facets of agriculture, from preparing the soil to producing compost to organizing their work schedule,” Abib said. “I want to teach them to become entrepreneurs who are capable of managing their own agricultural projects, or of developing whatever pursuit they choose. Already the women have completely transformed the quality of their lives, and that of their fellow villagers, with these gardens,” he added.

How You Can Help

The costs of a community farm are just over $15,000. But even small amounts can help us get there.

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