Since 2008, the Club Med has been providing financial support to Agrisud International. This French NGO is combating job insecurity and poverty by assisting in the creation of very small profitable and eco-friendly businesses in the farming sector. In Senegal, its endeavours include encouraging 150 female market gardeners near Cap Skirring Resort, in Casamance.
About Agrisud International
Agrisud, 'the NGO which creates businesses', is engaged in the struggle against poverty and in promoting the food security of poor people in many countries of the South. Since its foundation in 1992, it has been associated with the creation of 45,000 very small businesses in about twenty countries in Africa, Asia or South America and, more recently, in France. With the help of the local partners that it trains, Agrisud provides assistance to very small farms, which are often family-owned, in order to provide producers with additional technical support (circulation of ecological farming practices), business management assistance (support in putting together and analysing operating accounts) and organisational assistance (consolidated purchases of seeds, maintaining irrigation schemes, bringing products to market, etc.).
With the Club Méditerranée
Given that, in some cases, the organisation of the local offer of fresh products could not fulfil the demand of its Resorts, Club Méditerranée sought to contribute to improving the offer provided by small local producers. This took the shape of a partnership with the Agrisud NGO, signed in the end of 2008, aimed at enabling local producers to supply the Club Med Resorts and assist them in farming their land more sustainably using agro-ecology principles. The benefits are as follows:
- assistance to farmers entering the market economy and in the use of sustainable farming techniques so that they can ensure greater business security;
- buffets offering customers fresh local produce, which is eco-friendly and is more relevant to the region;
- secure supplies of fresh produce and an increase in the share of local purchases in the supply of Club Méditerranée;
- reducing the CO2 impact of the transportation of the products concerned;
- contributing to the relocation of smallholder farmers.
With 180 very small farms receiving assistance in five countries (Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, Indonesia, Tunisia), total support provided by the end of 2014 in excess of €500,000 and more than 50 tonnes of produce purchased, Club Med is the biggest partner of Agrisud in the tourism sector.
In Senegal, in Casamance, Agrisud and its local partner, the CPAS (Centre for the promotion of agriculture and business in Diembéring) has been assisting 150 market gardening businesses since 2009 in improving their techniques and their management methods, so that they are able to produce high-quality fruit and vegetables on a regular basis, and thereby fulfil local demand, as well as that of the Club Med Resort of Cap Skirring (in 2014, this resort purchased 41% of its fruit and vegetables from these market gardeners, who have improved the resilience and independence of their businesses thanks to the regular stream of income). These market gardening businesses have become small self-sufficient farms, able to finance their own operations (small equipment, seeds) and, on occasion, their investments (pumps for irrigation) by joining forces with other businesses.
Use of the collected funds
The funds raised are earmarked to acquire and install a second solar water pump for the second of the four market gardens.
Water scarcity in the dry season means that efficient irrigation systems are required. The solar water pump is the solution that provides the most benefits: long service life, easy maintenance, less reliance on fuel, slower and more regular pumping and, of course, ecological performance with the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Cost per pump: €11,000.