Together with our partner Tree Aid, we aim to create and improve over 2236 jobs for youth and women, by assisting local groups in developing Nutritious Gardens (NGs) and Village Tree Enterprises (VTEs) that will cultivate, process and market Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP). AUXFIN will introduce a digital financial service ecosystem to facilitate financial services and enable the further development of the NFTP value chain. NTFPs are essential to livelihoods in Burkina Faso in terms of economy, food and nutrition.
Youth employment is hindered by a lack of access to financial markets, low agricultural productivity, and threats provoked by climate change.
Educational institutions and vocational training programmes produce few promising outcomes, and new labour market entrants are insufficiently prepared for both the technical and soft skills required for the jobs available. It is crucial to create a more direct and facilitated connection with the private sector in order to overcome both the educational and psychological barriers young people encounter on their journey to employment.
NTFPs provide an opportunity for women, youth and displaced people to gain income and employment in addition to the agricultural production mainly performed by men. Our project proposes 3 interventions:
- The establishment and improvement of 39 Nutrition Gardens (NGs) and 64 Village Tree Enterprise (VTEs) for the production and processing of NTFPs in low-productive and vulnerable agricultural areas of Burkina Faso.
- Training young people in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging and marketing of NTFPs.
- The deployment of a digital financial service ecosystem.
We, thereby, professionalise these businesses by directly connecting them to local service providers such as financial institutes, input providers and off-takers. We also enable financial institutes to provide loans to these groups for their future professional and personal development by developing business plans, registering savings and production,
After the project, the jobs in the NGs and VTEs will be sustained on the basis of the sales of NFTP. Our Consortium has a proven approach to organise motivated groups of youth, women and internally displaced people to start an NG or VTE and turn these enterprises into sustainable businesses. Indeed, we expect youth sectoral associations to see the impact of their advocacy for a more enabling environment in youth entrepreneurship and employment. We also expect more youth entrepreneurs to become part of the associations. Partnering at all levels (youth, private sector, government), we expect that everyone will see the need to structurally involve the growing youth population and offer them the chances needed, again benefitting the country economically and socially.
It is likely that with CFYE support, the project will be better designed, proceed more quickly, or reach more young people than it otherwise would have.