Who are WASFO members?
Around 65% of West Africa's population depends on smallholder farming for their livelihood. A WASFO member is typical of all Africans smallholder farmers, relying on faming from less than one hectare of land for their income. Members typically support a family of 6 people. Although membership is both men and women, only 36% of members are female and so women are actively encouraged to participate. Member crop production is typically a 60:40 split between cash and food crops.
Where does WASFO work?
WASFO operates regionally across West Africa, with field - based operations focused in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
WASFO services to members
WASFO provides its members with support and guidance on how to organise themselves to farm as a business. This includes advice and technical support on crop selection and production, training on agronomic practices, access to inputs, field crop management, harvesting and post-harvest management.
In addition, WASFO provides marketing support, facilitating the bulking of member crops to secure access to the most profitable markets for reliable income.
Members are also provided with community support to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, increase gender equality and food security, as well as ensuring that the voice of the smallholder is heard through policy lobbying and advocacy.
Keys to Success
A commitment to working only with self-motivated farmer groups has enabled WASFO to effectively reach out to tens of thousands of smallholders. Research conducted before each new geographic area is targeted, ensures that only those with economic and human potential are selected. Associations are viewed as business entities that exist to improve the socio- economic standing of members through commercial services that address constraints to smallholder-member livelihoods. And WASFO does not attempt to provide all the services that members need, but rather facilitates links to other service providers.