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Crop diversification


The basic diet of the Senegalese families we work with is mainly composed of carbohydrates, especially rice and millet. Most of their dishes include a small portion of vegetables or greens, but it is insufficient and not very varied. In Ngueniène, a village near the coast, fish is relatively accessible but meat is a luxury that Senegalese can rarely afford. In order to strengthen the independence of rural families from the market and guarantee their food security, it is necessary to increase the presence of other crops for self-consumption and, therefore, to diversify their production.

Our work begins with a study to evaluate which crops can provide the nutrients they lack. Once identified and verified its viability in the field, we propose to the farmers the implantation of these crops. The next step is to obtain quality seed and to accompany the farmer during the first cycles of cultivation, so that they can make the most out of the resources we offer them. We try to ensure that the new food serves, in essence, to improve the diet of the whole family and not to be necessary to invest such a large part of their income in diversifying their diet.

The most important project we have started in this field is the introduction of quinoa as an alternative to rice. Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal with a very high quality protein, and because of its similarity in appearance to rice or cous cous it would be easily substituted in traditional dishes. Quinoa plants also have a high tolerance to stress (drought, salinity, high temperatures. . . ) and a high level of adaptation to new soils, so it would be perfect for our objective.