Retirement Johan den Hartog
After 44 years of working in the animal feed sector, the last 30 of which for GMP+ International in particular in strengthening food safety internationally, Johan den Hartog will retire as of 1 May 2023. At his retirement, he invites you to support the Woord en Daad-project Fonio: grain for Chad with a donation.
Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. On top of the economic challenges (42% of the population lives below the poverty line) come the impacts of climate change. Chad is located in the Sahel region. Here the impact of climate change is becoming apparent. Dry periods are even drier and the temperature rises even higher. On the other hand, rainfall is more intense and the hard, dry, sandy soil causes floodings.
For the already poor population, this is an additional threat to their livelihood. More than 2 million people lack food security. Due to high inflation prices for food are rising up to 250%. A third of the population is expected to depend on food aid in 2022.
Together with a local partner, Woord en Daad works to contribute to the food security of families in Lac Wey, Logone Occidental.
This province in southern Chad is suitable for agriculture. The soil is fertile and there is sufficient and regular rainfall. We are reintroducing an ancient crop: fonio. This grain, similar to quinoa, is traditionally grown in the Sahel region. Fonio has high nutritional value and contains essential minerals and amino acids.
In Burkina Faso and elsewhere, fonio is a well-known crop. In Chad, few farmers grow fonio, even though fonio is a grain with great potential. This crop has three unique characteristics: it grows in poor sandy soil, requires little water and grows quickly. It takes six to eight weeks between sowing and harvest. This creates opportunities for farmers. Fonio is also widely applicable in cooking. The grain is incorporated into baked goods, salads, soups and is a substitute for rice.
We start on a relatively small scale with 4 demonstration fields in communities. In doing so, we reach 400 vulnerable, smallholder farmers in 2023. Through training and coaching, they will learn to grow fonio and increase the yield of their fields. In the demonstration fields, they can see directly how the theory works out in practice.
The smallholder farmers harvest fonio twice a year. They can use the harvest for their own consumption or sell it at the local market. In addition, the women farmers learn to store and process the harvested fonio.
Fonio is a “forgotten crop” for Chad. There is no value chain we can connect to. That’s why we are starting on a small scale to support 400 women. In the first two years (2023-2024), we will explore the possibilities of expanding the project to include more farmers and start a (small-scale) value chain.
In addition, we are using these two years to understand the context in which smallholder women farmers live. Woord en Daad has developed two research methods that we use for this purpose. In the first research (Exclusion Risk Assessment) we engage in dialogue with the community to get a picture of which groups are the most vulnerable and (at risk of) being excluded.
For the second research (Climate Risk Assessment), we start a conversation with the population to get a picture of the impact of climate change in the community.
Based on these outcomes, we can design the project to engage the most vulnerable and equip the population to be more resilient to the impact of climate change.
It is Johans wish to support those smallholder farmers in Chad with his retirement. You’re invited to make a donation using the donation form (only for Dutch donors) or with the following information.
Make a donation:
|Rabobank account number||38.54.87.088|
|Stating||Stichting Woord en Daad, Gorinchem|
|IBAN||NL64 RABO 0385 4870 88|
|With reference to:||741 IA Fonio Chad|
‘Every farmer has the right to a worthy place in a value chain. Our inclusive value chain approach is based on the biblical principles of justice, compassion and creation care, only then sustainable change can take place where farmers can flourish and value chains are improved’