Cultivalia Senegaal already existed. But we weren’t a registered association. It existed, because we organised ourselves, we established some objectives, we had charted the initial edges of our strategy. Although it was still left to do the most important thing: knowing Senegal and its people.
We decided to start with the región of Thiès, in the department of M‘bour. Senegaldazzled us, with its light, its music, its incredible landscapes, its culture and especially its people.
Apart of enjoying of all the new experiences that we are living, we try to absorb all the possible information about the agricultural sector, since that was our mission from thebeginning.
We talked with different associations and organizations, we asked them what their perspective was, what we could do for them. We visited the fields of the farmers, trying to store each observed detail. On one hand, we found the crops we expected: millet, sorghum and peanuts. These are, by far the three most important crops in the region. But we also found other lands used for fruits and vegetables; some of them known in Europe and others which are native. We visited the local markets, to have more information about the preferences of the senegaleses and the availability of the aliments,
We wanted to transmit our idea. We explain them that introducing new aliments in theirdiet is going to be a benefit, we tell them some of them, like quinoa or avocado, crops that can maybe adapt with facility to the climate of the region and that could provide nutrients that they don’t include in their diet. We also tell them that we count with thesmall technical improvements, such as rotation and association of crops or the improvement in the management of crops, can increase the performance in a significative way.
After meeting with several collectives and debate a lot about it, we decided to start working with the city hall of Nguéniène. We spoke with the people responsible of the city hall and explained them what we wanted to do. They agreed with us that malnutrition is a serious problem in the region, especially in minors, and that setting up an improvement in the diet is a basic objective. At the same time, we are establishing relations with the farmers to be able to start working with small projects of diversification and modernization, as soon as posible.