Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) successfully organized a food security workshop for youths in Casamance in a bid to mobilize urban youths to agriculture. Hitherto youths here are reluctant to help with digging and hoeing, even during the holidays, forcing some families to pay day workers to do the job. “I cultivate a much smaller area than in the past, because I have to pay people to work my land,” said farmer Catherine Badiane, in her 50s, who lost her husband years ago. “Each year I pay people to work my land. My sons, most of who live in Dakar, refuse to come back to Casamance to farm. When I ask them to come, they say they are busy… “My produce is not even enough to cover myself and my grandchildren for eight months. I really should be able to feed the family year round by farming. I have had to start trading in Ziguinchor [Casamance’s main city] market so we can get by. This year there was plenty of rain, but I did not grow much; I just cannot afford the workers.” Poverty levels in Casamance are among the highest in Senegal at more than 60 percent, with nearly half of households vulnerable to food insecurity, according to a 2007 UN World Food Programme (WFP) study. Despite poverty and unemployment in the region finding non-family members to work the farm is not always easy, residents said. To reverse this trend, RAWDP organized the workshop.
RAWDP Organizes Workshop for Youths