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Products based on local grains are prepared with devices such as this processing unit | by World Bank Photo Collection
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Products based on local grains are prepared with devices such as this processing unit

In Niger, products based on local grains are prepared with devices such as this processing unit for black-eyed peas in Guéchémé, in the Dosso region, where women organized their own cooperative in 2003. Within the group, which is named Tashi ga Kanki (Rise Up to Insure Your Future!), they share tools of the trade, exchange know-how and help each other out when the rains come. Each woman saves part of her earnings, and when food is sparse, the 40 members distribute benefits in the form of credit, so the women can survive until the next crop. After the harvest, they must repay the amount used as credit to the group, which then buys sacks of black-eyed peas for the women to turn into couscous, cookies or noodles. This year, their savings have already covered three tons of the legumes, out of a target of five tons. For Maimouna (in the foreground at left), born during the great famine of 1984, food insecurity is a disaster to be avoided at all costs.

 

Despite women-only groups being more likely to save (80% vs. 66%), male-only groups report savings amounts that are three times higher than women’s groups. Research shows that providing women with access to secure savings mechanisms can be effective in helping women entrepreneurs overcome their lack of control over their income.

 

This group carried out a CFAF 3,212,600 subproject financed by the Agro-Pastoral Export and Market Development Project (Prodex) with a grant of CFAF 2,885,391 and a beneficiary contribution of CFAF 327,209. The financing covered, among other things, the construction of a mud-brick storehouse, a grain mill, a wire-fenced enclosure and a tin shed. Photo: © Stephan Gladieu / World Bank

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Taken on November 20, 2015