Borders of Sahel: transforming challenges into opportunities
UNCDF, within the framework of its Local Cross-border Initiatives program (LOBI), and in collaboration with the Municipality of Dori, will strengthen cross-border economic cooperation through concrete support to the livestock sector in the municipalities of the IIRSahel cross-border zone.
By building infrastructure to support the production, transformation and commercialization of livestock products, UNCDF and its technical and financial partners, are uniting citizens and other local actors on all sides of the borders. The programme is currently setting up a cross-border circuit of cattle circulation propped up and enhanced by quality infrastructures, which can be used by citizens of each of the border countries involved in IIRSahel (Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso). Amongst the infrastructure investments supported by LoBI are: an animal feed production unit, two vaccination parks, a slaughterhouse with a meat drying unit and the tracing of transhumance tracks (200km) between Niger and Burkina Faso.
These future infrastructures, which are inscribed in the financing agreement of the pilot projects between UNCDF and the Municipality of Dori as well as the local development plans, will improve livestock farmers’ production capacity and contribute to the overall development of their territory.
An animal feed production unit for all
UNCDF is supporting the Municipality of Dori in the implementation of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) relating the construction of an animal feed production unit, estimated at 600 million FCFA. It will allow the cross-border authorities to jointly manage a shared problem, namely the lack of adequate feed for livestock and the resulting impact this has on the production capacity and the revenues of livestock herders to the unit will produce concentrated animal feed using products such niébé, bourgou, andropogon, corn, soy and cotton, which will allow to diversify the sources of nutrients for the cattle.
In partnership with the Municipality of Dori and with the financial contribution of WAEMU, the Danish and Swiss cooperations and a private promoter, UNCDF will launch a feasibility study of the project which will help mobilize additional financial contributions.
« We are delighted of this initiative of the LOBI program to implant an animal feed production unit for the cattle in the region. It provides an answer to a real need expressed by the local communities and represents an opportunity to develop the region and make it more attractive », Notice M. Ousmane Traoré, economic operator in the sub-sector of agro-industry in the Municipality of Dori and participant in the co-financing. « It will facilitate the food supply for the cattle of the local populations, which doubtlessly will boost production and incomes derived from this activity and thus, will reduce the poverty of the population », he adds.
Indeed, benefits and development impact from the project for the livestock farmers and the local population are numerous and diverse. Among others, the project will contribute towards the improvement of the quality and the quantity of livestock feed, which will reduce supply costs for the livestock farmers. The development of the cattle and the meat sector in the region will generate jobs and thereby contribute to an increase in revenue for local authorities, whose tax bases are often insufficient to meet the needs of the local population.
The IIRSahel zone is an area of livestock farming and transhumance. It is endowed with a huge potential in livestock farming, which is one of the main activities of the populations. For now, production, transformation and commercialization equipment and infrastructure are insufficient to support the development of the activity and increase efficiency. Indeed, the lack of services for livestock farmers in the territory means that there is little complementarity of infrastructures, markets and economies between the borders municipalities of three countries. « There is a high demand that I do not manage to satisfy because of the very great distance that I have to travel for my supply. With the implementation of this project, I will be able to satisfy easily the demand for cattle feed in the Sahel region and even in the nearby countries such as Mali and Niger. In the end, I will also make my business prosper », concludes M. Traoré, father of 6 children, working in the field of purchase and sale of cattle feed in the region of Sahel for more than 20 years.
The transformation of the border zones into viable economic and commercial environments combined with capacity building exercises for the local actors and the communities will act as a catalyst to stimulate inclusive local economic development in the border zones of Sahel. It will also contribute to uniting the populations, thereby facilitating greater social cohesion and the replication of similar initiatives.