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November 2013 / Thematic magazine of BTC - the Belgian development agency

TABLE OF CONTENTS Agriculture crucial in the fight against poverty


Rwanda: 190 000 happy farmers in a healthy environment


Burundi: Interview with Odette Kayitesi, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock


Morocco: About the importance of scholarships, satellites and networks 7 Mali/Niger: Herdsmen and their zebus


Ecuador: Growing healthy food in Imbabura


Agroecology: agriculture for the future


Burundi: Better seeds for better yields


Gender equality in agriculture, with a testimony from Morocco


Tanzania/Peru: Managing natural resources for local economic development


Sustainable trade for better living conditions


Social economy and agriculture


Congo: Artisanal fisheries and pisciculture


Benin: Klouékanmè, best agricultural municipality of 2012


Sharing knowledge and cross-pollination 18


IMPACT is a magazine that is published twice a year. It puts the spotlights on the results of our interventions in a specific sector.

THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN THE BELGIAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION 1 The Belgian Development Cooperation supports sustainable family farming. Belgium aims to improve food security and to contribute to economic sustainable growth. Four major axes define the approach of the interventions. The first axis focuses on increasing production in a sustainable way. This can be done by improved (access to) means of production: information and innovation, water, seeds, financial services… A second axis is commercialising agricultural products. Producers get better market access because of improved transport infrastructure and information and communication services and through stronger producers organisations. A third axis is capacity development within ministries, civil society and farmers organisations by means of policy support and support to the coordination of sector actors (agricultural organisations, the private sector, local authorities…). A fourth axis is strengthening the position of women. Women's access to land, markets and information is limited still even though they play a key role in the production, processing and marketing of food. The Belgian Development Cooperation takes the lead of the sector donor group in Benin for agriculture and in Niger and Mali for livestock breeding, and also leads the dialogue with the partner Ministeries.

Earlier issues › Health (April 2013) ‘Impact’ is chosen here in the general sense of the word (‘influence’, ‘effect’) and not as the term used in the evaluation of development cooperation interventions.

1 |Source: Strategy note for the agriculture and food security sector, FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, December 2010.

03 BTC in the agriculture sector





Interview with Sofie Van Waeyenberge Coordinator of the Agriculture unit, BTC Brussels

Where does the agriculture sector stand in development cooperation? The Belgian Development Cooperation invests heavily in the sector: It operates in agriculture in 15 of the 18 partner countries; in 11 of these 15 countries agriculture1 is a priority sector [see p. 20]. In 2004 the share of agriculture within official development assistance (ODA) was at a low 3.5%. Partially thanks to the 2008 World Development Report of the World Bank, which advocated a renewed lead role for agriculture in the fight against poverty, and because of the food crisis at the time the sector gained in importance again. And rightly so, no less than 75 to 80% of the rural poor live from agriculture. Also many partner countries pay increased attention to agriculture. With the Maputo Declaration (2003) African countries committed to the allocation of at least 10% of national budgetary resources to agriculture, while this was only 1 to 2% at the time. And even though this target has not been achieved everywhere, most countries have national investment plans and in some countries the budget has considerably risen.

The problem of food security allegedly is not related to food production but rather to access to food. At this moment that is true, but with recent food and energy crises global food

production has re-entered the debates. The world is facing the huge challenge of feeding nine billion people in 2050. The increased demand for biofuels, meat and fodder, especially due to changing consumption patterns in Asia, adds pressure on arable land. Moreover, frequent droughts and floods lead to crop failure and lower yields.

How can our interventions take into account climate change? On the one hand, there is a need to adapt agriculture to climate changes, for instance by adapting farming techniques and better managing water. On the other hand, we must make agriculture itself more sustainable and reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change. The need for a more ecological agriculture becomes more and more obvious. That is why the Belgian Development Cooperation supports sustainable family agriculture. BTC tracks the developments in agroecology [see p. 9] and investigates how to better integrate agroecology in its programmes.

whole. Such interventions are explicitly linked and interact with each other and share a goal: support the sector as a whole. We usually combine institutional support at the national level with a more operational approach in the field.

What are the main challenges for the future? Of course climate change and sustainable agriculture will be high on the agenda. In addition, sustainable access for small producers to markets, both for purchasing production means and for selling produce, remains a major challenge. Finally, there are differing views on how the sector and in particular family agriculture can be helped forward. That is why it is very important to document experiences. The UN declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. This is an opportunity to put this type of agriculture in the spotlights and to learn lessons from past experience.

How does BTC design its agricultural projects? The development strategies and national institutions of the partner country always form our starting point. Interventions are formulated on the basis of a sector analysis and take into account the priorities of the Belgian Development Cooperation [see p. 2]. We increasingly follow a programme approach: Several interventions form a comprehensive

1 | Including sustainable management of natural resources. 2|B  eing poor means living on less than 1.25 dollar per day. Right now, there are 1 billion rural poor worldwide (UN, 2005).

04 Rwanda

190,000 HAPPY FARMERS IN A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT The secret behind the successful Farmer Field Schools is training farmers in an interactive and experimental way.

Š BTC / Dieter Telemans

Every day, millions of farmers work in their fields to produce food for home consumption and sale on the market. Most Rwandan farmers have small plots only, so it is important to get the most out of the land. Therefore, Rwandan farmers are keen to learn and apply practices to increase their productivity

and income. And that is why already 80,000 farmers have joined a Farmer Field School (FFS) group under the Rwanda FFS Initiative, which is implemented by the Rwanda Agricultural Board with assistance from BTC.

05 Learning by experience and fun

Farmer Field Schools create an interactive, practical and fun learning experience for farmers. Selected farmers are trained and coached to become facilitators of groups of farmers. Most importantly, farmers are not told what to do, but are taught to make decisions based on evidence from field observation and experiments. “In the FFS group, we compare varieties as well as practices and evaluate all the findings ourselves. I really loved the ‘insect zoo’ experiment in which we put bean leaves and plant lice along with a ladybird beetle in a bottle and we checked what happened. The plant lice sucked the sap from the leaves but the ladybird beetle ate all the plant lice! That is how we learned which insects attack our plants and which insects are our friends. I am confident that we are now better prepared for what the future will throw at us. And, if we can’t find the solutions ourselves, we can always call our facilitator,” says Aimable Gatambire who joined an FFS group in 2011.

Farmers’ income more than doubled

The impact of the FFS is very significant. Overall, 92% of 2,897 FFS groups report an increase in productivity of at least 50%, but in some crops the results are even more impressive. The average income of the farmers has more than doubled (+164%). Furthermore, FFS farmers use less pesticide and conserve local genetic resources. “We really could not believe our eyes when we harvested our cassava in the FFS plots. We just had never seen such big cassava roots. I think it was 6 or even 7 times bigger than what we are used to!” explains Ernest Kabeja, a cassava farmer. “Luckily enough, the big ones taste good as well!” Another group member adds: “We are so happy to be members of a FFS group. It is agriculture that brought us together,

© BTC / Dieter Telemans

but there are more benefits to being a member. We established a savings component in our group, we now all have health insurance and we make sure that every member can pay the school fees. We even discuss HIV during our meetings.” The success of the intervention has been well noted by the decision-makers. The FFS approach is now recognized as the most performing extension approach to increase productivity. The ultimate ambition of the Rwanda FFS initiative is to establish 3 FFS groups in every Rwandan village, allowing practically every Rwandan farmer to be a member. If the necessary funds can be raised in time, this goal could be achieved in only 5 years’ time. The approach is efficient and effective on a large scale. Now it’s a matter of continuing expansion and taking it from large to huge and transform Rwanda’s agriculture on a massive scale!

Quick win spin-off The trained FFS facilitators also act on the forefront of a quick win approach which was developed as a spin-off of the FFS approach. The FFS approach provides farmers with a deep understanding of their farming activities, but it takes time. Yet sometimes urgent interventions are needed to stop an emerging disease. The quick win strategy called ‘Community Mobilization Campaigns’ allows a rapid scaling up of a technical intervention which has proven to be successful in FFS. Thousands of farmers are mobilized by local leaders and work together on consolidated land under the technical guidance of the FFS facilitators. Since 2012, already 110,000 farmers were involved in campaigns to control BXW disease in banana and Striga in cereals.

© BTC / Dieter Telemans

06 Burundi


Belgium is the main bilateral donor to Burundi's agriculture sector. We talked with Odette Kayitesi, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, about the vast PAIOSA programme that was launched by her ministry and BTC in 2011; a programme of 7 years, with a budget of 62 million euros.

You have been the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock for two years now. What are, according to you, the major challenges to be met? Agriculture is a vital economic sector for Burundi. It is the first employer and makes up 80% of GDP. Cash crops make up 90% of Burundi's export earnings. But we are a small country with high population density. Some families have to live of less than 0.2 hectare of arable land. So, boosting productivity and yields in a sustainable way is one of the major challenges for the years to come. The challenge is to go from selfsubsistence farming to a market-oriented agriculture that can deal with the challenges of food security and growing urbanisation. To achieve this, we must use our water resources better, improve soil protection practices as well as cultivation practices.

operational support programme for the agriculture sector (PAIOSA), which marks the change to a new cooperation mode. There used to be six independently operating projects without any actual synergies between them and without any ties to the ministry. Now, we have just one programme but a comprehensive one, which is a significant step forward to improve aid effectiveness and which allows for better alignment of development cooperation with the national strategies. This approach also allows for greater flexibility in responding to the needs of our population.

Where does PAIOSA actually intervene? The programme provides institutional and operational support. BTC provides institutional support to the Ministry of Agriculture in its sovereign functions, namely planning, coordination and control. For instance, the programme has strongly contributed to the elaboration

And what about the so-called operational support? BTC intervenes in three agroecological zones that have high agricultural potential: Imbo, Bugesera and Moso. The programme especially plans hydro-agricultural improvements to manage water better and to come to more cultivation cycles on a single plot of land. Several accompanying measures have been taken to improve productivity and hence the competitiveness of the agricultural value chains. These measures relate for instance to the provision of inputs, to accompanying small private entrepreneurs in setting up processing or in improving marketing conditions. These activities should help with creating em-

Six projects in one programme:

How does the Belgian Development Cooperation contribute to implementing agricultural policies? Belgium is the main bilateral donor to Burundi's agriculture sector. Belgium intervenes through the Institutional and

of the National Agricultural Investment Plan (PNIA), which now is the document of reference for the sector. It also supported agricultural surveys, which provided very useful information for decision-making.



“A significant step forward to improve aid effectiveness� Odette KAYITESI Minister of Agriculture and Livestock

07 Morocco


© BTC / Rosalie Colfs

ployment in the non-agricultural sector while improving benefits.

There is a lot of talk about climate change and its impact on agriculture. What is the situation in Burundi? What does the Belgian Development Cooperation do in this respect? We feel the effects of climate change more and more. We now see strong variability in the rainy seasons and the intensity of these seasons. In the face of such a problem, managing water becomes a key issue. PAIOSA supports us in particular through upgrading works on the Imbo plateau so we can supply water throughout the year to 4,000 hectares of land. This plateau is located near Bujumbura and for food security in the capital and the country it is of essential importance that it is managed well.


About the importance of scholarships, satellites and networks

Tarik Benabdelouahab is a 32-year-old agricultural engineer who has worked for Morocco's National Agricultural Research Institute INRA1 since 2008. Since 2012 he has been a PhD student at the University of Liège (Belgium) with a grant of the Belgian Development Cooperation. Tarik does research into how satellite images and geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to optimize water management in agriculture. His research focuses on the largest irrigation system of the country (Tadla - 106,000 hectares), the socalled grain attic of Morocco, north-east of Marrakesh. It is home to some 10,000 small and larger farms (ranging from 0.5 to 500 hectares) that mainly produce citrus fruit and sowing seeds for grains, olive trees and sugar beets. Over the last twenty years Morocco has witnessed heavy droughts which has urged the government to build dams and develop irrigation systems. “I obtained this grant through my employer,” says Tarik. “This way, Belgium wants to strengthen the institutions and ministries with which it works in the partner countries, which I believe is not a bad idea. During my PhD I am in close contact

with my work in Morocco where I regularly return for field research. After the scholarship – in 2015 – I must stay with the INRA for eight years. I find this normal and I am proud that I can continue my work this way, apply the research and give something back. Through my research at the University of Liège the INRA has cheaper access to SPOT satellite images from the European Space Agency ESA. These satellite images are of crucial importance for our research in Morocco. On the basis of this research the Moroccan government, in consultation with farmers and agricultural organisations, decides how to optimize irrigation. Also, you should not underestimate the importance of networking. I am in touch with Belgian researchers and scientists from Senegal, Niger, Turkey, you name it. In addition, I establish interdisciplinary contacts, for instance with the Centre Spatial de Liège2, a pioneer in its area. For Belgium it is also useful to set up such international networks because presentday research issues such as climate change are more tangible in Morocco than in Belgium.”

The Scholarships Programme

A renewed strategy to strengthen partner organisations The Scholarships Programme of the Belgian Development Cooperation now focuses on competence development of staff of organisations and ministries involved in bilateral development cooperation projects and programmes. Through this new focus the Scholarships Programme aims to strengthen the institutions and ministries so they can take on their duties better. This new approach has already been implemented in Morocco, Congo, Senegal, Tanzania and Palestine, while the transition to this new system is also being prepared in the other partner countries.

© BTC / Rosalie Colfs

1 |Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - 2 |

08 Mali/Niger


Results for stock breeders and their herds Improving permanent access of stock to pasture land

In Mali, the number of bush fires has dropped by 90% on a 30,000 km2 stretch of land, which allowed for higher forage production. 70,000 hectares of pasture land have been created and cattle food banks have been put in place. In Niger, almost 2,500 kms of the 3,500 kms of planned fire breaks have been established in view of containing bush fires. 261 tonnes of straw, a main staple for cattle, have been produced and stored. To secure pasture land more than 400 kms of passageways out of the 2,000 kms planned have been established. 91 cattle wells and four pumping stations are in the making.

Š BTC / Jan Locus

Stock breeding is a mainstay of the economy in Mali and Niger. But as herds grow and the population increases, the competition for land, water and dry season pasture land has become fierce. Consequently, traditional means to prevent conflicts between farmers and herdsmen fail to ensure that the available resources are exploited peacefully. In addition, animal health is poor due to a lack of veterinary care and the value chains are poorly organised, which leads to poor performance of the value chains and profit margins that remain low.

Secure and strengthen stock breeding productivity

BTC and its partners undertake to improve access of stock to pasture land, to strengthen cattle breeders' technical and organisational capacities for better productivity and herd profitability and to improve local veterinary services. But more is needed than these activities in the field. Belgium also emphasises capacity development at the central level to elaborate sector policies and strategies, plan and follow up activities and coordinate key actors. Through institutional support in Niger in particular the Sustainable stock breeding development strategy could be elaborated. In Mali BTC will support the evaluation of the National stock breeding policy and the elaboration of a National genetic improvement strategy. Belgium, the lead donor, supports the ministries in coordinating the actors in both countries. BTC's activities ensure interaction between the strategic and operational levels: National strategies and standards are applied in the field while the experiences of the field are capitalised on and can lead to adaptations to existing national standards.

Provide local veterinary services

Five rural veterinary cabinets have been set up in Mali. Three local private veterinary cabinets have been set up in Niger. The veterinary cabinets are supported to run annual vaccination campaigns. In 2012, more than 5 million head of cattle and 9 million small ruminants have been vaccinated.

Improving production and animal product processing

An Azawak zebu herd, which is known for its excellent milk production, was restored with the help of several hundreds of stock breeder families. Several measures were taken to improve products, such as the construction of wells, vaccination pens, small milking parlours, tanneries, cattle markets‌ as well as the construction of meat-drying units in Niger.

Small stock to help families fight poverty

In Mali 500 of among the most disadvantaged families in the Nara circle (western Mali) will be granted new stock to improve their living conditions, their supply of food and their revenue.

09 Ecuador


In a region where 35% of children aged between 0 and 5 are undernourished, BTC and local authorities work towards improved vegetables and fruit production and towards improving the distribution of vegetables and fruit in schools and hospitals. "We used to hardly eat any fruit or vegetables because we could not afford to buy them on the market. Now we have healthy food for our kids and family thanks to our gardens and chickens,” says Verónica Quicuango, one of the 550 beneficiaries of a food security project in the Urcuquí canton. It is one of the 75 food security projects financed by the FIRC (see inset) in the Programma for Rural Development (PDRN) in five provinces in northern Ecuador.

Fertile gardens

To do something about malnutrition and improve the quality of life in four municipalities 589 families received plants, fruit trees and chickens and installed drip irrigation in their gardens. The result is that families have a more varied diet and become self-supporting. The gardens of these families are small (250 m² on average) but provide sufficient food for all family members.

Fresh produce for schools and hospitals

Often there is even a surplus - vegetables, fruits or chickens and eggs - which the families can sell to nurseries, schools, hospitals or tourism centres. This is done through solidarity fairs, which are promoted by the Provincial Government of Imbabura, the 'Unidades Económicas Popular y Solidaria' and the Ministry for Economic and Social Inclusion. Fresh produce from smallholders is collected and distributed to day-care centres, schools and other instances. Thanks to this kind of

marketing the local production capacity succeeds in delivering healthy food and boosting the efficiency of the distribution chain and it does so with less energy.

Higher incomes for the poor The ‘Fondo de Inversión Rural Compartida’ (FIRC), which was launched jointly with provincial authorities in five provinces in the north of Ecuador, supports initiatives of local institutions for local economic development to improve the incomes of the poor. The Fund is financed for 60% by the PDRN (see this page) and for 40% by the institutions concerned. In addition to the Fund, the PDRN also invests in strengthening local authorities to support and foster economic development and facilitates access to rural financial services in cooperation with the Corporación Nacional de Finanzas populares y solidarias (CONAFIPS).

Agroecology: agriculture for the future Agroecology is an agricultural development approach that is inspired, as the name says, by agriculture, often traditional agriculture, and ecology. Agroecology draws modern scientific lessons from traditional farming techniques and combines social, economic and cultural insights from agricultural science, ecology, anthropology, history… with more technical aspects. Ecuador is one of the countries with a policy promoting agroecology; the PDRN (see article above) follows this to the full extent. The coffee value chain has witnessed agroecology

bring increased yields and stronger organisational ties within the farmer organisations. In Rwanda at Farmer Field Schools (p. 4-5) farmers conduct an analysis of the agroecological system as a basic part of training. In a project in Peru the result is coffee yields have increased by 25% on average per hectare. The comprehensive application of agroecology to BTC's interventions has only just started. But the results are promising and BTC already aims to learn lessons and capitalise on the experience.

10 Burundi


Having high-quality seeds is key to improving agricultural yields in many countries in Africa. Traditionally, year after year, farmers stored a part of the harvest for next year's sowing. This practice progressively leads to the degeneration of the seeds, which at some point must be replaced. However, the seeds on the market are often of poor quality. In the absence of control and certification it is extremely difficult to distinguish healthy seed from infected seed. The rapid spread of viral and bacterial diseases also has a devastating impact on farms. BTC supports seed policies in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

Case study: the potato in Burundi

The Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Burundi (ISABU) is a vital player in the seed value chain in Burundi. It is to conserve the germplasm 1 and to produce the pre-basic seeds 2. These are multiplied to produce basic seeds, which in turn are multiplied to produce commercial seeds. The quality of the work done by the ISABU is of essential importance: If seeds are infected at the pre-basic level, diseases will spread throughout the cycle of multiplication. BTC's project supports the rehabilitation of the production stations and of the phytopathology laboratory. The necessary tools and equipment as well as training and sanitary control have allowed for a quick progress in terms of quality.

Involvement of the private sector

The production of basic seeds used to be one of the exclusive duties of the Burundi State. The successive structural adjustment measures led the State to abandon productive duties. So the need emerged to support the installation of private operators to produce these basic and commercial seeds. A training curriculum has been developed and financial support mechanisms have been put in place (investment assistance, guarantee fund).

Strengthening the legal framework

The project has also supported the Burundi State in passing seed sector legislation. The law defines the organic framework for involvement in the seed sector in view of producing suffi-

Š BTC / Rosalie Colfs

cient high-quality agricultural seeds. By protecting the profession the law promotes the participation of private operators in seed production and commercialisation. By installing a homologation and certification system for agricultural seeds the law guarantees the quality of the seeds that will be purchased by smallholder producers on the markets. Along with the established legal framework came the National Seed Certification and Control Office. ISABU has also been supported in its research on and development of disease-resistant varieties. Potatoes form the food basis and the core of the production systems of Burundi's farmers. So, these actions are essential to secure the country's food production.

Tangible results

In 2008 seed production was estimated at 500 tonnes. Now, the value chain produces about 2,000 tonnes of quality seed per year. Such significant increase has contributed to cultivating more land. The national agricultural survey shows that since 2008 annual potato acreage has increased by 250%, i.e. from 6,000 hectares in 2008 to 15,000 hectares in 2012.

1 | Often synonym for genetic material. The term designates the seed or plant material collection from which plants multiply. Research (by ISABU for Burundi) ensures conformity with and conservation of the original type, which is denominated G0. 2 | Issued from the G0 material, these seeds are multiplied once (G1), twice (G2) or more (G‌) depending on needs. They must be of the purest level possible.

11 GENDER EQUALITY IN AGRICULTURE More than 1 billion people suffer from hunger and live in extreme poverty. This figure can be lowered but only if gender inequality is dealt with 1. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO equal access to productive resources could increase production by 20 to 30%, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17%. Reason enough for BTC to pay attention to women's rights.

On an unequal footing

Women do play a major part in the production, processing and marketing of food. But they face many obstacles. They are not entitled to own land, their access to credit, new technologies and means of production is impeded and illiteracy often prevents them from starting businesses of their own. Rarely are they involved in decision-making. Women do not just have to deal with political and economic discrimination but also with social exclusion and taboos.

Access at various levels

Mainstreaming gender means taking into account the practical needs of women. BTC promotes equal access to productive resources like land, technical services, basic infrastructures and equipment. However, meeting practical needs is not enough. It is equally paramount to train women in speaking up and in participating actively in decisionmaking. In Benin all these aspects are dealt with. At the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries there are specific gender services2. Their task is to raise awareness among policy makers so deci-

sion-making takes into account gender equality. Also, networks are set up between the various players: the Ministry, agricultural organisations, women movements… There are local initiatives to raise awareness among the beneficiaries, to train them and support them. The Support facility to the agricultural value chains in Mono Couffo involved women in 59% of micro projects. For instance, a micro project put in place new tomato paste processing units, which led to better profitability and quality and reduced labour costs. Out of a total of 1,984 beneficiaries of micro project funding 873 or 44% were women. Also, the involvement of women in decisionmaking bodies was boosted. Currently 922 women, compared to 663 women at the onset, have a seat in managing bodies of producers’ organisations. The gender experiences of this project are not ‘one shot’. They are compiled in a manual which the project drew up together with two Belgian NGOs, Louvain Coopération au Développement and PROTOS, as a source of inspiration for gender mainstreaming in other programmes. Such activities will definitely be further pursued since under the current cooperation programme between Benin and Belgium (2013-2017) and under other cooperation programmes gender is a transversal theme that must be mainstreamed in all priority sector interventions.

1 | UN, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, New York 01.07.2013. 2 | The Women in agricultural and rural development unit (CFDAR) and the Service for the promotion of rural activities among women (SPAFR)



Gender expert in Morocco The interventions in Morocco understand the importance of gender issues. Three of these interventions have jointly recruited a gender expert. Khadija Assari has worked since July 2012 on gender mainstreaming in the field. “I intervene at two levels: At the strategic level to facilitate the decisionmaking process and to guarantee gender issues are institutionalised; and at the operational level by assisting projects in design and methodological matters and by coaching teams in the field. For agriculture, for instance, I make sure special attention is being paid to the economic empowerment of women and to their involvement in the decision-making process. Mechanisms will be put in place to guarantee the partner institutions are committed to allowing women to enter the decision-making bodies of their institution. For the scholarships programme we have introduced a gender goal: 50% of grants are to go to women. I also start advocacy and capacity development activities among the partners and beneficiaries so they acquire the know-how in this matter and the actions have a lasting effect.”


Š BTC / Anna Patton

Š BTC / Anna Patton



Two interventions aim to involve the local population in natural resource management and at the same time stimulate local economic development. Bees and biodiversity in Tanzania

For communities in Tanzania's forests regions bee-keeping is an important economic activity. But the forests are threatened with destruction to make room for crops or because of the demand for charcoal. The government of Tanzania tries to maintain natural vegetation and ecosystems by protecting forest villages and by establishing bee reserves. Bee hives can be found up to forty to even seventy kilometres in the forest. Since 2007 Belgium has been promoting better harvesting techniques among the bee keepers to improve the quality of honey. Honey used to have a burned taste because bee keepers put burning wood in the hives when harvesting the honey. By using wooden hives made by local carpenters and by promoting the use of protective gear and smokers the quality and taste of honey significantly improved. Wholesale buyers from

adjacent regions and countries notice this evolution. Also with respect to packaging and labelling progress has been made. Until 2010 it was customary to pour honey in recycled bottles from a local alcoholic drink, but since purpose-made glass and plastic jars have been used and they have been correctly labelled. In August 2013 the first regional honey fair ever brought together various sector players. The challenge for the current programme (2011-2015) is to ensure that honey with a better taste also provides the more than 5,000 bee keepers and their families with a better income from future sales. The market is mainly an informal one. It must be turned into an economically viable sector, with long-term contracts, sustainable trade relations, a guaranteed supply of packaging materials and identified markets. These are prerequisites for bee keepers to look at the future with trust.


© BTC / Daniel Silva

Peruvian regional products1 against poverty

Through the Programme for sustainable economic development and strategic management of natural resources (PRODERN2) BTC and the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment try to fight poverty in the regions of Apurímac, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Junín and Pasco (totalling more than 3 million inhabitants) by managing the natural resources as well as possible and by setting up sustainable production systems. The Belgian Development Cooperation offers crucial institutional support via PRODERN in developing an appropriate

Pasco Junín LIMA Huancavelica Apurímac


1 | Products of Peruvian origin such as a variety of potatoes, cereals, aromatic and medicinal plants have sunk into oblivion. Now Peru wants to revalue and commercialise them. 2 | Programa de Desarrollo Económico Sostenible y Gestión Estratégica de los Recursos Naturales

© BTC / Daniel Silva

policy framework for the national government and five regional and sixty local authorities to set up projects that combine economic development with environmental protection with the involvement of civil society and the private sector. This institutional support goes with regional pilot actions in the areas of regional planning, of sustainability and biodiversity and of mapping and fostering the natural patrimony.

Remarkable results

› Participatory budget management: The population and the local authorities decide jointly which sustainable development projects are supported in priority. › Training civil servants in knowledge of regional products and sustainable development. › Certification: Thirty community members are trained as quality controllers. Each controller coaches ten families, which means that some 300 families can go through a certification process to obtain a label as a producer of regional products. The final goal is to reach 1,500 families at least. › Training and recognition of the yachachiq, the keeper of traditional knowledge. › Recognition by the state of areas with large agrobiodiversity in the Pomacocha district can help maintain other such areas as a natural capital and free money for it. › Successful participation of producers of regional products to fairs such as the large gastronomy fair MISTURA, which attracts 500,000 visitors.

14 Trade for Development Centre


The Trade for Development Centre (TDC) provides financial support and marketing advice to smallholders in the South. It does so jointly with NGOs as well as under bilateral development cooperation agreements.

Quality coffee from Kivu The slopes around Lake Kivu in Congo are most suitable for growing coffee but because of continuing violence farmers leave behind their fields while only few development organisations are still active in the area. It was exactly in this area that SOPACDI1 was established in 2001. It is an agricultural cooperative that from the onset has focused on commercialising coffee as a means for development. With the help of the Rwandan cooperative COOPAC2 SOPACDI got in touch with NGOs and fair trade organisations. Since 2011 the TDC supports a project that sets up nurseries for young shoots, organises training on sustainable culti-

vation techniques and hires agricultural experts and group coaches who are familiar with the farmers. The financial support amounts to 150,000 euros. In the first two years of the project SOPACDI doubled its sales to more than 200,000 tonnes. 3,600 farmers receive an extra 1.76 dollar for every kilo of coffee sold through fair trade, organic and quality premiums. The buyer pays women producers (26% of overall membership) a gender premium on top. Following SOPACDI's success, new projects emerge in the region. They too receive financial support from the TDC.

1 | SOPACDI = Farmer solidarity to promote coffee operations and comprehensive development 2 | COOPAC = Cooperative for the promotion of coffee operations

Marketing plan for farmers organisation in South Africa The not-for-profit Siyavuna in Kwazulu Natal has established its marketing plan for selling organic products locally. TDC supported the process. The smallholders now deliver their fruit and vegetables directly to consumers who are willing to pay a premium for local organic produce. The project is a success and was noticed by the ministry that wants to repeat the formula in other regions.

Fair trade certification for argan oil from Morocco For centuries Moroccan women have pressed oil from argan nut kernels. This oil is famous for its nutritional and alleviating qualities. Ibn Al Baytar is an organisation that encourages women producers to set up cooperatives. The TDC supported a project to boost the revenues of three such local cooperatives, among other things through the certification of their argan production. And successfully so, because in 2012, one of them, Tighanimine was the first argan oil cooperative worldwide to be Fairtrade certified. Sales and profit margins of the three cooperatives were boosted; Tighanimine's even went fourfold. The TDC's contributed to the amount of 50,000 euros.

Š Tim Dirven for Oxfam Fairtrade

15 A world first: FairWild cocoa from the Amazon Basin

SOCIAL ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE Social economy is defined as “enterprises and organisations – particularly cooperatives, mutual benefit societies, and foundations – that produce goods, services and knowledge while pursuing both economic and social aims and fostering solidarity”1. Defined as such, social economy is a significant economic factor, also in agriculture and for food security in particular, because it contributes to local economic development and supports the agricultural value chains. It supports and strengthens groups of players that jointly set up actions in favour of association, cooperation or a stronger social capital.

In the Bolivian part of the Amazon Basin along the Chapare River lives a community that survives through logging and gathering wild cocoa. For many years deforestation has been a threat to the community's habitat. To safeguard the identity of their community and the forests in which they live, in 2010 some 167 gatherers established Arcasy (Asociación de recolectores de cacao silvestre). The goal was to find new sales opportunities for wild cocoa and boost revenues for the community. Arcasy contacted REPSA, a Bolivian fair trade exporter which already had contacts with a Swiss cocoa buyer who was interested in wild cocoa, under one condition though: The cocoa had to be FairWild certified. Such certification, unlike others, includes criteria that specifically focus on how wild plants are gathered and commercialised. But the road to certification is long. Stringent social and environmental quality criteria must be met.

Smallholder cocoa producers in Bolivia (see this page), coffee producers in Congo (see p. 14) and soon also the dates value chain in Morocco are but a few of the examples showing that social economy principles stand for more than a strictly economic story since also context-related social and cultural aspects are at play. These dimensions must be taken into account in the agriculture sector in order to achieve inclusive, fair and sustainable economic development following the Decent Work Agenda which is promoted by the ILO.

Arcasy could count on technical and financial support of BTC and the TDC. A project of BTC helped them with mapping a wild cocoa collection area, which led to 400 hectares of forest being protected. The TDC supported the construction of cocoa bean drying and storage rooms, provided technical support to gatherers, financed the certification procedures and assisted with making prospection materials to target new customers in Europe. In November 2012 Arcasy obtained the coveted label: a world first for cocoa! FairWild certification means cocoa gatherers get paid 29% extra per kilo of wild cocoa.

1 |Plan of Action for the Promotion of Social Economy Enterprises and Organizations in Africa, ILO, Johannesburg, 19-21 October 2009

16 Democratic Republic of the Congo


The Kamalondo bassin, a large area with some fifty lakes in the north of Katanga, is home to 172,000 artisanal fishermen. There are many problems that threaten this ecosystem and reduce the population to poverty. Because of the use of forbidden fishing techniques and equipment as well as nonobservance of the fishing ban period fish cannot reproduce normally. This situation generates food insecurity, exacerbates poverty and constitutes grounds for major economic losses. The Project for the development of artisanal fishery and aquaculture in Katanga (PRODEPAAK) provided training on legislation, fishing techniques and fish processing and on the role of organisations in setting up the value chain. Because of the democratic and participatory collaboration the resources could be managed jointly and fishing practices became more sustainable.

Managing heads of valleys for pisiculture

In a situation where natural fish resources are overexploited and mining activities pollute surface water this project aimed to manage the heads of the valleys that were spared from pollution.

For almost four years more than fifteen "land managers" were trained to use topographical equipment. More than 1,500 people were trained in land management techniques and pisciculture production. The World Food Programme contributed actively through Food for Work to install agricultural and pisciculture sites.

Better storage and processing of fish

Because the fishing grounds are far away from the commercialisation circuits and to reduce losses high-performance processing techniques are needed. PRODEPAAK has vulgarized curing and Chorkor oven1 smoking techniques, which allow to better preserve fish (up to nine months instead of the traditional methods' fifteen days) and reduce the need for fuelwood. Thanks to training provided to the national and private managers and to the fishermen and pisciculture entrepreneurs, the communities and authorities have become aware of their power to protect, foster and develop fish resources.

1 | On a Chorkor oven, the fish is spread on removable trays, several of which are stacked on top of the oven.



Almost nine out of ten households in the Kagera region in north-western Tanzania do not take three meals a day. Amongst the most important causes are the decline in agricultural productivity due to diseases in plantations and drought. The AIDS and malaria pandemic have worsened the situation. The Belgian Fund for Food Security is established to improve food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kagera, a BTC project, financed by the Fund, helps the authorities to improve food availability for 3,000 vulnerable households. The focus is on helping women with raising poultry and goats and with producing cassava and maize. The Fund also supports the households by promoting entrepreneurship and savings.

The Belgian Fund for Food Security

› Purpose: food security › Field of activity: Sub-Saharan Africa › Target group: the most vulnerable › Duration: 2010-2022 › Budget: 25 million euros per year › Funding: National Lottery and the Belgian Development Cooperation › Run by: BTC, Belgian NGOs and multilateral organisations › Initiator: the Belgian Parliament

17 “The Ministry of Agriculture conducted a knowledge-building study based on our experience with fostering agricultural value chains. The study raised the awareness of other mayors to more strongly support agricultural development and to have their municipalities invest and improve producers' revenues to the benefit of the economic as well as social development of the municipality.” Christophe Ouinsou MEGBEDJI, Mayor of the municipality of Klouékanmè



The municipality of Klouékanmè in the south-west of the country clearly sees the development of agricultural value chains as a basis for economic development for its inhabitants. This local initiative attracted the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, which considers capitalising on the experience a means to better focus agricultural sector development policies and strategies and to urge other municipalities to invest more in agriculture.

Synergy in the tomato value chain

In Klouékanmè, the tomato value chain has directly benefited from the synergy between three BTC projects at various intervention levels, namely the municipal, regional and national levels. The Support project to the implementation of municipal development plans provided project management support for the construction of warehouses and tomato sales outlets. It also rehabilitated access roads to improve the supply of produce to the outlets. The Support facility to the agricultural value chains in Mono Couffo allowed for the purchase of a tomato paste processing machine which creates added value and avoids losses at the time of harvesting when the rate of processing is problematic. The third intervention supported the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries at the central level. It aimed to further capitalise on experience and promoted the collaboration between BTC projects and other key actors in the value chain.

ing a local development tax on tomato sales. The experience brought the municipality of Klouékanmè's regional, national and international fame.

Best agricultural municipality of 2012

Local development through the promotion of agricultural value chains works for Benin and the first line agents of the Ministry effectively take on their role in assisting and providing advice to the municipalities. The Mayor of Klouékanmè proudly confirms it is through capitalising on experience that the municipality won the trophy of Best agricultural municipality for the year 2012 in Benin.

Increased revenue

The municipality spent 36% of its budget to fostering agricultural value chains, which shows that it has the potential for taking on ownership and that there is a desire to intervene in the sector on the long run. The investments allowed for an increase of tomato production by more than 80%, which significantly boosted the revenue of producers. The municipality also benefited from a 20% increase in its revenue by levy-

© BTC / Martin Van Der Belen

18 SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND CROSS-POLLINATION Our experts share knowledge through partnerships, publications and professional networks.

© BTC / Rosalie Colfs

Sharing through platforms Agriculture and Food Security Platform



European Microfinance Plaftorm

This platform brings together DGD, the cabinet and the main Belgian actors involved in the implementation of the development cooperation strategy in the areas of agriculture and food security. Main goals: exchanging information and good practices and fostering synergy between players in the sector. BTC is involved in the steering group. Be-troplive is an informal and multidisciplinary platform, which is open to institutional or individual members involved in tropical animal health and production activities. Be-troplive wants to be a network of Belgian people and institutions to share information about research, training and development projects. BTC also is involved in the steering group of Be-troplive.

GRAP3A stands for Groupe de recherche en appui à la politique de coopération Alimentation, Agriculture, Afrique. This inter-university and interdisciplinary research group supports the federal government with its development strategies in the area of food security and agriculture in Africa. BTC is involved in the steering group ( The European Microfinance Platform is a multi-stakeholder network of over 140 organisations and individuals of the European microfinance community. Its principal objective is to promote cooperation amongst European microfinance bodies working in developing countries. BTC participates in the Platform’s rural action group which brings together practitioners and experts form rural microfinance to share experiences and good practices.

Microfinance experience in Senegal The Project in Support of Microfinance, which is financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation, asked Senegalese microfinance players to capitalise on their experience. This is quite unique since usually contributions in this area are written by researchers from the North. The publication compiles ten of these field experiences.

19 Cooperation with public expertise BTC concludes partnerships with Belgian public instances. This allows BTC to call upon the specific expertise of these instances to the benefit of partner country institutions.

Belgian food safety agency “BTC's part as a facilitator is very valuable to us because it helps us to focus and work efficiently.”


HOUIN Chief Exec S utive Offic er

The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) is one of the very first ‘integrated’ control agencies worldwide. Integrated means it addresses the whole food chain, from the animal food sector to the distribution sector (food stores and restaurants). “This implies our agency has exceptional expertise,” says Gil Houins, Chief Executive Officer, “which we want to share with other countries, also outside Europe.” BTC and the FASFC have agreed on facilitating the transfer of this expertise to the partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation. In Benin a food agency was established along the same lines as the FASFC. “Our staff provided advice and training on how to build up a food safety agency, how to conduct risk analyses, how to use lab equipment…,” says Gil Houins. “It is a win-win situation: The partner learns from our expertise, while our people get to know how other agencies operate. After all, food is a global commodity and for us it is important to be aware of processes elsewhere." BTC relies on the FASFC for specific assignments, identifies the core needs of the partner and liaises between the FASFC experts and the partner. Gil Houins concludes: “BTC's part as a facilitator is very valuable to us because it helps us to focus and work efficiently”. Opportunities to work together in other partner countries are being investigated.

The Royal Museum for Central Africa BTC has signed a framework agreement with the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, which is for instance called upon to digitalise soil maps for agricultural interventions in Burundi (PAIOSA – see p. 6).

Among experts In February 2013 BTC organised the first Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Days. Sector Days bring together technical advisors, national project officers and partner ministry staff to share lessons learned. More than 60 experts from ten partner countries attended the Sector Days. The main themes discussed were the collaboration with the private sector and agroecology. The conference about agroecology with prof. Marc Dufumier (AgroParisTech) and prof. Philippe Baret (UCL) speaking was open to the public at large.

The rice value chain in Benin: lessons learned PAFIRIZ, a project financed by the European Union and implemented by BTC, aimed to increase the supply of local quality rice in order to compete with imports. The project supported production, processing and commercialisation in the value chain. LA DÉMARCHE D’APPUI AUX DIFFÉRENTS MAILLONS DE LA FILIÈRE RIZ PAFIRIZ : Note de Capitalisation

At the term of the project (August 2013), the project published a knowledge building study in order to stimulate the reflection amongst those concerned by this type of intervention. The study inventories the actions undertaken and the main lessons learned.




PHOTOGRAPH COVER © BTC / Dieter Telemans




Have contributed to this edition:

Bolivia Ecuador Peru

Benin Burundi Congo Mali Morocco Mozambique Niger Tanzania 31/10/2013

Sjoerd Bakker Jean-Pierre Busogoro Jacques Chabbert Evi Coremans Yves Couvreur Josiane Droeghag María Inés Durán Lawrence Ghesquiere Emmanuel Grosjean Patrick Henry Alain Laigneaux Patrick Levaux Mahamane A. Maïga Jean-Pierre Marquet Emile Mukuba Olivier Pirard Saskia Ravesloot Claudia Rivera Bilbao La Vieja Abouba Saidou Moussa Sayo Raf Somers Lamine Tata Sofie Van Waeyenberge Kimja Vanderheyden Evert Wauters


© BTC / Dieter Telemans





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