Senegal’s livestock sector is poised for a significant leap forward with the launch of the first phase of the National Integrated Livestock Development Program (PNDIES-P1). This ambitious five-year initiative, backed by a €78.6 million investment, brings together the Senegalese government, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in a united front to empower youth, women and rural communities.

“This program is critical to achieving food sovereignty and self-sufficiency in animal products,” declared Ousmane Mbaye, Secretary General of Senegal’s Ministry of Agriculture. Mbaye hailed the AfDB’s “constant support to the livestock sector” during the opening workshop, underscoring the importance of international collaboration in this critical endeavour.

The project targets three key areas: boosting animal productivity, improving processing and marketing of products, and enhancing industry-wide skills. This multi-pronged approach is set to create a ripple effect, generating sustainable employment opportunities for 32,000 people directly involved in livestock value chains, with a focus on empowering 16,000 women and young people. The project’s reach extends far beyond, with an estimated 950,000 people, over half of them women, set to benefit indirectly.

Hatem Fellah, representing the AfDB’s head of country office in Senegal, Mohamed Cherif, echoed Mbaye’s sentiments. “The energetic cooperation between the AfDB, IDB, GCA and the Senegalese government is truly commendable,” Fellah remarked. He emphasized the Bank’s unwavering commitment to the program’s success, pledging full support to the Ministry’s teams throughout the implementation phase.

The €78.6 million investment is a testament to the project’s potential. AfDB shoulders the lion’s share with €39.3 million, with IDB contributing a matching amount. The Global Climate Centre (GCA) rounds out the funding with a €300,000 injection.

This financial boost will be deployed across ten Senegalese regions: Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Louga, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kolda, Sédhiou, Thiès and Ziguinchor. The project’s focus on improved food safety resonates strongly with public health concerns. A robust control system for animal products will be established, coupled with the renovation or construction of regional laboratories. This two-pronged approach aims to eliminate unsafe slaughtering practices and elevate hygiene standards across the board.

The design phase of PNDIES-P1 itself serves as a model of inclusivity. Over the past two years, the project has fostered a spirit of collaboration, bringing together technical departments from relevant ministries, farmer and processor organizations, youth and women’s groups, civil society actors, and the private sector. This commitment to participation ensures the program addresses the most pressing needs on the ground.

With this €78.6 million shot in the arm, Senegal’s livestock sector is primed to flourish. By creating jobs, ensuring food security, and empowering a new generation of farmers, PNDIES-P1 promises a brighter future for Senegalese agriculture.