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The Sahel Crisis, also affecting Senegal, has led to a decline in agropastoral production that has put over 739 000 people at risk of food insecurity. FAO is working with the Government of Senegal to strengthen the livelihoods of the rural population by improving their means of production. The decline in agricultural production and pasture availability in the central, southern and south-eastern regions of the country are likely to continue deteriorating the food and nutrition security situation. FAO is distributing good quality seeds, minerals and vitamins complements and dewormers for livestock and strengthening market linkages to ensure food access and availability.
Strengthening agriculture in response to the crisis
The agriculture sector, also including livestock, forestry and fisheries, is the main source of employment and revenue for about 60 percent of the population. Irregular rainfall, declining soil fertility and relatively low levels of investment in the agriculture sector have led to a decline in production. FAO is distributing rice, millet, maize, cowpeas and watermelon seeds, as well as fertilizer to vulnerable farmers in an effort to increase their production capacity and diversify the food available. FAO is also investing in agriculture by providing important tools for production and processing and supplying good quality seeds to be stored in stocks. Disparities in agricultural production are localized across the country, and FAO focuses its response in the worst affected areas, particularly in the regions of Diourbel, Kaffrine, Kédougou, Kolda, Saint Louis, Sédhiou, Louga, Matam, Tambacounda and Ziguinchor, including the pastoral zones for livestock interventions.
Strengthening resilience through training
Losses in agricultural production have meant that more families are becoming dependant on markets for a greater share of their food needs. FAO is improving the production capacity of households so that they can become less dependent on markets. FAO trains rural communities on better agricultural production practices including fertilizer use, soil fertility and irrigation. By not only providing seeds but training these communities on good vegetable production techniques, FAO is ensuring that they become more resilient to future crises. FAO also introduced the Integrated Management of Production and Predators approach (GIDP) with the use of organic products made by women’s associations.
Supporting the National Early Warning System
Timely and accurate information on the nature and causes of food insecurity and malnutrition are vital to formulate and implement policies and programmes that respond well to crises. FAO participates in the permanent monitoring of food security and nutrition conditions, and is also strengthening the Cadre Harmonisé. Beyond emergency operations, interventions in the medium and longer-term that seek to reverse the cycle of food shortages and crises in Senegal, are also being implemented by FAO.