Survival and prosperity: The untold story of small ruminants in family farms
In the three-border zone of Mali, Niger, and Burkina-Faso, a beacon of success shines amidst a tense security context. The cross-border trade strategy of small ruminants, driven by small family farms, stands out for its ingenuity and resilience in a complex security environment. This article, a highlight of our 36th edition of ” Gems of Family Farms,” invites you to delve into the world of this exceptional initiative. Facing a multitude of challenges, pastoral actors in this region have adopted a cross-border marketing strategy for small ruminants. This approach, developed and implemented by determined agropastoralists, has not only strengthened their resilience but also boosted the local economy. These communities have turned obstacles into opportunities, underscoring the flexibility and robustness of their economic model.
The trade of small ruminants has become a central pillar for these farms, enabling them to withstand shocks and natural disasters. It provides a vital source of income, thereby enhancing food security and economic stability for the involved families. The innovation doesn’t stop there: the collective organization and structuring of actors within cooperatives have contributed to greater efficiency and visibility. The women and men engaged in this collective enterprise have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to adapt, innovate, and thrive despite circumstances.
The experience also highlights the importance of market diversification and cross-border collaboration. By expanding their commercial horizons, cooperatives have been able to increase their profit margins and enhance their economic resilience. This strategy has not only benefited agropastoralists but has also positively impacted local communities, generating jobs and boosting the local economy.
Beyond its economic impact, this initiative has significant social repercussions. It has helped stabilize communities, reduce rural exodus, and offer alternatives to recruitment by radical groups. Women, in particular, have found in this activity a source of empowerment and a means to increase their economic contribution within their communities.
This cross-border trade strategy of small ruminants is a model of resilience and ingenuity, deserving recognition and replication. It demonstrates the capacity of small family farms to adapt and thrive under difficult conditions, while significantly contributing to food security and regional stability.
To learn more about this human and economic adventure, we invite you to download the capitalization document on:
Discover how these communities transform challenges into successes and inspire a better future for small family farms.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer