Opportunities linked to the creation of the Integrated Agricultural Training Site in Gabi-Tajaé, interview with a local cooperative

Before the arrival of the Integrated Agricultural Training Site (Sites Intégrés de Formation Agricole, SIFA), the commune of Gabi practised very little off-season cultivation, because of there was a problem with accesssing water. However, with the creation of the training centres and a thorough study of the soil, it became clear that the subsoil of the rural commune of Gabi has an enormous potential for groundwater. Swisscontact interviewed the HADIN KAN JAMA'A cooperative (All united for solidarity) to find out more about the impact of the local training centre.

How long has Swisscontact been working in your community?

"Swisscontact has been active in our community since 2014 with the creation of the Integrated Agricultural Training Site (SIFA). Thanks to this site and the training provided there, we have discovered new agricultural and irrigation techniques. These trainings have benefited not only the members of our cooperative and the young people trained, but also the other inhabitants of our commune."

What results do you observe following the creation of the Integrated Agricultural Training Site (SIFA)?

"As a result of the achievements by SIFA, we have seen an increase in the number of agricultural areas in the commune. This was also possible thanks to the involvement of the local authorities but also of other donors. We can mention, among others, the perimeter supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and that of the Projet d'Appui à l'Agriculture Sensible aux risques Climatiques (PASEC). Others are currently being developed."

What has the SIFA done for the local population?

"SIFA has enabled young people to develop their professional skills, to diversify their practices (plant and animal production and agricultural processing), to farm professionally and profitably and to become financially independent. Family farms can now cultivate all year round thanks to off-season cultivation and the exodus from rural areas has largely decreased in our commune."

What is the impact on the local economy?

"Most of the young people who have graduated from SIFA are self-employed. Some of them have formed a cooperative, such as the simplified cooperative company (SCOOP-S), which groups together 20 young people leaving the SIFA. These young people manage a site of about 1 hectare where they produce various seasonal vegetables. The impact of these training courses can be seen in the community, as the population of neighbouring communes, and sometimes neighbouring departments, come to buy from our young farmers. This promotes inter-communal exchange, but also the creation of jobs, particularly in the transport of goods and people."

Learn more about this project.