To create and improve over 3021 jobs for youth and for women, our project assists local groups to develop Nutritious Gardens (NGs) and Village Tree Enterprises (VTEs) to process and market Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP). We deploy a digital financial service ecosystem to realise financial services to facilitate further development of the value chain. NTFPs are essential to livelihoods in Burkina Faso in terms of economy, food and nutrition. NTFPs provide an opportunity for women, youth and displaced people to gain income and employment as most of the land and associated agricultural value chains are owned and managed by men.
Youth employment faces challenges in direct access to financial markets, agricultural productivity, and threats provoked through climate change. A more direct and facilitated connection with the private sector is crucial to help overcome both the educational and psychological barriers young people encounter on their journey to employment.
Moreover, women face specific barriers including:
- a lack of trust in their environment or business service providers
- little to no training
- a lack of appropriate equipment
- unsafe workplaces
- dangerous travel routes to work
- male-dominated workplace
NTFPs provide an opportunity for women, youth and displaced people to gain income and employment which we aim to achieve through 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 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. Tree Aid 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.