Technical Assistance for women's groups in Mauritania's henna and desert date value chains.
Description of project
The objective of this consultation is to provide technical assistance to women producers' groups and their networks.
The We-Fi's partners in Mauritania are primarily three networks, two of which are specifically dedicated to supporting women's businesses - the Mauritanian Businesswomen's Council (CMFA stands for Conseil Mauritanien des Femmes d’Affaire) and the Union of Women's Enterprises (UEF stands for Union des Entreprises des Femmes) - and the third made up of the Participatory Oasis Management Associations (AGPO stands for Association de Gestion Participative des Oasis) their regional and national unions. The CMFA is organized into sectoral units bringing together enterprises.
The UEF has regional branches providing mutual credit services to its members. The AGPOs are supported by the Sustainable Oasis Development Program, housed in the Ministry of Rural Development.
These networks are not yet effectively structured around a specific value chain and are not operational in terms of collective marketing of henna and desert date kernel. The We-Fi project aims to support these networks in their role as federators of women producers, aggregators and reliable partners for export-oriented Mauritanian SMEs.
In order to play the role of interface between women producers and Mauritanian companies, these networks must be strengthened for collective marketing and be equipped to monitor production capacity and stock availability through an easy-to-use and accessible online database.
The approach chosen is therefore to create three network databases and to train and/or strengthen the management teams of these networks (at headquarters and in the regional branches) and to support the creation of teams of trainers within them who can deploy training to producers to better structure theses and provide the means to monitor and improve quality, production and marketing levels
The work includes the following four components:
Component 1: Creation of three databases. The objective of this first component is to collect data and create three databases, one for each of the producer networks, which will be used by the networks' managers to assess the stocks and production capacities of their members. A first database will include henna producers who are members of the CMFA, a second one will include henna producers who are members of the AGPOs and a third one will include henna and desert date processors from the UEF network. The groups are spread in nine Mauritanian regions for the henna producers, and in six regions for the desert date processors.
Component 2: Training of trainers and dissemination of training to women producers' groups.
The objective of this second component is to develop a training curriculum based on an assessment of the best international practices in supporting rural women's cooperatives and taking into account the specific needs of the three networks partner of the We-Fi. The training should be organized for at least 30 trainers within the three networks of women producers' groups. Furthermore, the work will ensure the replication of training for at least 110 women producers' groups in areas that allow these networks to function better and to organize the collective marketing of quality products.
Component 3: Reinforcements for Women’s led SMEs networks. This third component will consist of strengthening the management and supervisory teams at headquarters and in the regional branches within the networks, to improve their services to members, particularly in the marketing of henna and desert date products. This will involve combining a participatory needs analysis with a review of international best practices and developing content and tools for the various reinforcements.
Component 4: Design and organize a peer learning experience through a study tour, including selecting a region and relevant partners for their structuring experience and if possible, for the similarity of the sectors, defining the formats of the exchanges and organizing the event.