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Unformatted text preview: http://www.dubaiaward.ae/web/WinnersDetails.aspx?s=36&c=191 The Micro-Gardens Project in Dakar was initiated in 1999 within the framework of a Technical Cooperation Program between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Senegalese Government. A Special Program for Food Security (SPFS) of FAO allowed its extension in 2001 to other regional capitals of Senegal. The micro-garden project introduced new technologies for out-of-land horticultural production on yards, roofs and vacant places. It became a program in 2004, with its main objective being to participate in poverty reduction by providing fresh vegetables to poor families, thereby improving their food supply and nutrition. The project also promotes income generation through the sale of production surplus. To consolidate the micro-gardens project and improve security in Dakar, an additional two-year program was signed in 2006 between the municipalities of Dakar and Milan, Italy. The micro-gardens project facilitates access to urban and peri-urban horticultural production for city-dwellers who do not have access to farmland because of urban land pressure. The project mobilizes human resource in the fields of administration and research, and promotes the use of agricultural waste such as peanut shells and rice chaff, which are derived from national agricultural production and are readily accessible and affordable to poor people. The project also contributes to the improvement of the living environment, both by recycling agricultural waste and by greening houses in Dakar and in other regional capitals. The micro-garden technology has been adopted across all social sectors: poor, wealthy, men, women, young, old and physically handicapped. More than 4,000 families have been trained in micro-garden technology. The general objective of the initiative is to contribute to further reducing unemployment and poverty by improving food security and nutrition and providing income generating opportunities for the population. The main challenges in the implementation of the project included training and organization of beneficiaries, access to equipment and inputs, and marketing of produce. The micro-gardens benefited from local means and equipment, housed at the Horticultural Development Centre (CDH) of the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), including an office, laboratory and national reference micro-garden. Under the Milan/Dakar agreement additional training and demonstration centers were established to supplement the CDH garden and improve access to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries were organized into economic interest groups (EIGs), often composed of women. The micro-garden program financed training and equipment for EIGs, however, financial sustainability at the end of the project posed various challenges, including disruption of production, intervention of technicians and monitoring of beneficiaries and EIGs. Training was therefore extended to some producers who are responsible for training other beneficiaries, as a means to ensure...
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