Hauts Bassins and South Center regions in Burkina-Faso
Kolda/Sedhiou region and Saint-Louis region in Senegal
October 1, 2020 – October 31, 2021
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agriculture (ENSA) - Senegal
Centre d’Études, de Documentation et de recherches économiques et sociale (CEDRES) - Burkina Faso
CAD 746,686 $
This research project is implemented by CECI with a team of researchers from Canada, Burkina Faso and Senegal, using research tools and methodologies they co-created. The gender approach is at the heart of these research tools and methodologies, and will also be mainstreamed at all stages of the project. Data is collected through interviews and a participatory approach to co-creation that focuses on empowering the participants (organizations of women producers, intermediaries between vendors and producers, other stakeholders). Furthermore, the results are validated with the participants, and courses of action are elaborated with them to bring about changes at the local, national and regional levels. Special attention is also paid to the inclusion of marginalized people at all key stages of the research.
This collaborative research project aims to identify strategies and practices that are better adapted and more easily usable by decision makers in order to ensure the food security systems are more resilient in the face of crises. Specifically, it makes it possible to:
i) analyze the relationships between COVID-19, the measures to fight it, and the repercussions on food security of poor and vulnerable rural households in Senegal and Burkina Faso;
ii) understand how (negative or positive) gender relations are reconfigured in relation to food security following the crisis and the measures put in place to resolve it;
iii) know the extent of the disruption to cross-border trade in agricultural products where poor women, key actors for food security, are involved, and to the economic empowerment of women and their households.
Ultimately, the research allows stakeholders to gain in-depth knowledge of these issues, and the results will help define and/or orient policies, strategies and adapted intervention models in relation to food security, gender and resilience at the national and regional levels.
In addition, several influential actors and allies of the cause of women and food security have been identified and are involved in the project and in the analysis workshops, with a view to making a difference in the medium to long term. These include people from the ministries in charge of agriculture, gender and women, and development planning; national and regional confederations of farmers’ and/or women’s organizations; academic institutions; organizations in charge of statistics and planning within the targeted ministries; key national programs linked to these sectors; relevant multilateral institutions such as the FAO, UN Women, ECOWAS; territorial collectives (town halls or rural communes); territorial administrations (governors, prefectures, sub-prefectures) which have played an important role in the fight against the pandemic, etc.
Farmers, local vendors and local leaders participating in the interviews:
People involved in participatory analysis activities in the 4 research zones in Burkina Faso and Senegal:
CECI en parle is a series of radio programs produced by CECI-Senegal. Addressing various themes related to gender equality and volunteer cooperation, this program is broadcast on local community radio stations.
To limit the spread of Covid-19, the governments of Burkina Faso and Senegal have decided to close their borders in March 2020, restricting the movement of goods and people and cross-border trade. Faced with these measures and the absolute necessity of survival, traders in cross-border areas are bypassing official checkpoints to continue the cross-border trade necessary for their survival and food security, despite the risk of gender-based violence (GBV). In the event of a pandemic, for countries with still fragile economies such as Burkina Faso and Senegal, selective sanitary measures should be applied instead to allow formal exchanges and the movement of food across borders.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its response measures have intensified the vulnerability and inadequacies of food systems in West Africa, affecting all activities and processes of food production, distribution and consumption. To this end, rural women in Senegal and Burkina Faso have ensured the resilience of poor and vulnerable households, thus prompting recognition of this reality by men. It is therefore essential to give women decision-making power at all levels in the spheres related to the four (4) pillars of food security.
The measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic had a strong impact on the functioning of agricultural production systems and markets. The economic activities of the populations have come to a halt and the consequences on the food security of rural households are enormous. All pillars of food security - availability, access, utilization and stability - have been impacted by the measures. The quantity, quality and frequency of meals have declined sharply. The measures have prioritized health aspects over food security considerations and are ultimately counterproductive.
The purpose of this paper was to show the effects of the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics on food security vulnerability in West Africa.