FoodAfrica is searching new collaboration possibilities especially with NGO’s both in Finland and Africa.

img_4627_webThe FoodAfrica research programme team and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (Felm) have been discussing about how to collaborate in utilizing the results of the programme in development cooperation.

One good option is a food security project PROSAF that Felm is implementing in Senegal through its local partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Senegal (ELS) in the villages among smallholder farmers.

Felm’s partnership with ELS has started many decades ago. The PROSAF project is one of the newest forms of cooperation in between Felm and ELS, having started in 2015.

Professor Martti Esala taking a soil sample in the area of Foundiougne, Senegal.

Martti Esala visited Felm’s activities in Senegal, especially in PROSAF project in the Foundiougne area, a lowland close to the sea south from the capital Dakar. In that area saline waters are threatening the small fresh water reservoirs available for irrigation. The main rainy season is from May to October and the 500 – 700 mm precipitation comes usually in a short period. This is hardly enough for the main crops such as peanuts, maize and sorghum.

The farmers are digging new wells in their fields and quite often they get salinized after few years of use. Therefore collecting rainwater and managing the small ground water reserves are in key role for sustainable crop growth. Another major issue is how to get nutrients for the crops. The people in the villages are composting most of their organic waste including crop residues to make organic fertilizers for the crops.

Soil samples were taken during the mission to get an idea about the chemical composition and nutrient deficiencies in the soils. After analyzing the samples in Luke’s laboratories, we have a better idea on how to improve crop production in the villages.

The beneficiaries of the PROSAF project are eager to learn new ideas as it is for their better well-being and can help to solve their challenges, and Felm has agreed to become the bridge for Luke to bring the knowledge to the grass root level. In return, the Felm project workers will be invited to FoodAfrica work package 3 training course in January 2017.