R4 was initiated in Senegal in 2012, building on WFPs food assistance for assets (FFA) and Oxfam Americas Saving for Change (SfC) programs. In 2015, the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative reached over 12,000 farmers through the risk reduction component, 3,388 farmers through insurance, 16,000 farmers through the risk reserves component including 5,505 members who accessed credit through a revolving credit fund and 201 members of the Warrantage scheme as part of prudent risk taking component. Achievements include:
Risk reserves: The risk reserves component of the initiative builds on Oxfam Americas Saving for Change (SfC) program that enables members to access savings and credit services in an accessible way. In the three operational regions: Tambacounda, Kolda, and Koungheul, over 16,000 individuals have organized themselves into 650 savings groups. Their cumulative saving amounts to 75,867,325 CFA (approximately $125,813 USD). Additionally, a total of 9,363 members of savings groups received the SfC+Business training, exceeding our annual objective.
Prudent risk taking: Through the credit component, 10,970 SfC members took out loans amounting to a total of 66,661,525 CFA ($110,550 USD), mainly for petty trade and to purchase seeds and other agricultural inputs. In addition, following the SfC+Business training for women, a revolving credit fund was set up to support womens IGAs through loans averaging $100 USD. A total of 14 associations of savings groups in Tambacounda and Kolda have accessed loans worth 11,000,000 CFA ($18,242 USD) for collective IGAs such as cereal processing, livestock fattening, fruit transformation, and soap production. In addition, a total of 180 farmers received access to small agricultural equipment such as ploughs and seeders with a leasing facility for a value of 10,500,000 CFA ($17,412 USD). Financial literacy trainings were provided to 4,628 people with 268 sessions on insurance and revolving credit mechanisms.
As part of the warrantage scheme, in 2014, a total of 49 members from 10 surrounding villages joined the cereal bank and stored 15,150 kg of cereals including maize, millet, sorghum, and rice. Fifteen members requested loans worth a total of approximately $1,409 USD (850,000 FCFA), which were invested in petty trade and livestock rearing and selling; all loans and interest were reimbursed on time. In 2015, due to the lack of rainfall, only 17 members of two cereal banks out of the total nine had sufficient surplus stock to participate in the warrantage scheme. A total of 24 tons of cereal were placed as collateral in two cereal banks, allowing 17 households to access credit worth $4,300 USD (2,625,000 CFA). All the 17 members have repaid their loans and cereal stock was released during the lean season in August 2015.
Risk reduction: The Risk Reduction component of R4 reached more than 12,000 participants in Senegal, including 6,071 in Tambacounda, 4,500 in Kaffrine, and 2,000 in Kolda. In 2015, a total of 462 hectares of land in the valleys and lowlands were protected, recovered, or developed through soil and water conservation interventions, including construction or rehabilitation of 11 small dams to control runoff water. These dams play an important role in the development of agricultural areas as they store and regulate rainwater to keep the water in the rice plots and recharge groundwater.
Risk transfer: In 2015, R4 offered weather index crop insurance in two regions, Tambacounda and Kolda, and a total of 3,388 farmers purchased insurance: 3,101 farmers (906 women) from 110 villages in Tambacounda and 287 farmers (209 women) from 10 villages in Kolda. SfC associations were tested as a delivery channel for insurance. A total of 8 SfC associations signed insurance policies on behalf of their members.