Through IGNITE, Tanager, along with partners Laterite and 60 Decibels, is seeking to shine a spotlight on gender and its relationship to nutrition. The initiative — funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — aims to strengthen the ability of African institutions to integrate nutrition and gender into business methods and agriculture interventions.
In India and Mozambique, Tanager works with smallholder farmers on reducing aflatoxin contamination in peanut crops. Reducing aflatoxin contamination requires identifying pain points in the supply chain where aflatoxin can infect yields and introducing smallholder farmers to techniques that can reduce moisture.
The trainings are largely based off of the Smallholder Agricultural Market Support (SAMS) Guidance, which Tanager helped the WFP to develop back in 2017. Like the guidance, the trainings are designed to be both flexible and specific: we can’t anticipate every situation in every country that could occur in the future, but we also know that if we just provide general statements then it’s not really good guidance. That being said, one of the main things we consider when preparing for a training is how much experience country offices have with smallholder programming, since we want to provide information that is both relevant and applicable. We’ve facilitated training sessions for both individual country offices as well as for regional bureaus.
The first impact on women here in Burkina Faso is that it limited their access to the poultry market. During the lockdown, the main urban cities were closed, so the goods could no longer come to the cities. Most of the poultry produced by women is sold in the urban markets, so since the urban market was closed, they had to store their poultry. This means they had to increase their spending to feed them and house them, which created additional, and unexpected, expenses. Also, women couldn’t access some basic inputs like feed and poultry vaccinations services. Those are the key impacts that affected women. So women were limited to very little income in the first few months of lockdown.
The living income analysis highlighted that farming households’ incomes are made up of various farm and off-farm activities. So, if one crop only represents 10% of a farming household’s income, even if we double incomes from that crop, it is only a small portion of that household’s income. There are additional opportunities to increase incomes through the other farm and off-farm activities. That analysis pointed to a more holistic way of thinking about working with farming households and communities – something we are calling the Whole Farm Approach