Agro-Pastoral harmony in the Sahel: A quiet revolution in the Yagha-Niger border area
In the 38th issue of “Gems of Family Farms”, we highlight a bold and transformative initiative in the Yagha-Niger border area, which exemplifies a peaceful and prosperous coexistence between farmers and herders. This innovative hybrid approach, combining breeder livestock with fattening cattle, not only redefines agro-pastoral practices but also forges a model of collaboration and mutual respect. At the heart of this initiative, the Pinal Cooperative Society has managed to harmonize the conflicting needs of agricultural and pastoral communities. Traditionally, transhumance and agriculture were seen as competing activities, often leading to conflicts over land and water resource use. Pinal’s innovation lies in its ability to integrate these two worlds into a symbiotic system, where each party benefits from the other, creating a virtuous circle of circular economy and sustainable development.
This approach has led to a significant reduction in transhumance, which has consequently decreased frictions between communities. By partially settling their herds, herders benefit from better control over the fattening of their animals while reducing the environmental impact of their activity. This settling has also led to a notable increase in the quality and quantity of meat production, thereby improving the profitability of their farms.
On the other hand, farmers have seen a decrease in damage to their crops, traditionally caused by passing herds. Moreover, this new dynamic has fostered the development of partnerships, where farmers provide crop residues for livestock feed, thus creating a beneficial nutrient recycling system for both parties.
The impact of this initiative goes beyond economics and ecology. It also has a strong social impact, promoting dialogue and mutual understanding between communities. Trainings are organized for herders and farmers, not only on livestock and agricultural techniques but also on conflict management and non-violent communication.
The results are tangible. A study conducted on the initiative reveals an increase in production and income, better natural resource management, and most importantly, a significant reduction in conflicts. These successes are the result of a holistic vision that integrates the economic, ecological, and social aspects of rural development.
The Pinal project, supported by the Network of Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Producers of West Africa (ROPPA), is an inspiring model for other regions facing similar challenges. It demonstrates that with innovation, determination, and an inclusive approach, it is possible to transform conflict situations into opportunities for sustainable development.
To learn more about this revolutionary initiative and its transformative impact, we invite you to download the capitalization document on:
Join us in this journey where every step is a step towards a more harmonious and sustainable future for all.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer