Probably the most important raw materials of Africa’s smallest country are fertile soil – especially along the Gambia – and sufficient arable land, in a comparatively (still) moderate subtropical climate.
North of the Gambia, towards the southern border of the Sahel in Senegal, the country is developing into dry savannah as a result of climate change, with an accelerating tendency. South of the Gambia, towards the Senegalese Casamanche, subtropical savannah still prevails. Both regions suffer from quasi uncontrolled logging, especially because of the largely open national borders, which leads to an accelerating loss of biodiversity and natural climate resilience. The impacts on agriculture and security of supply for the population are foreseeably serious.
We see it as one of our most urgent tasks to counteract this documented trend through integrative, regenerative agriculture. It is a committed attempt to readjust the delicate balance between natural habitat and human land use and to promote the preservation of the ecosystem.
We are only too aware of the modest role we can play in this with our work. At the same time, we recognise opportunities and good possibilities to have a stabilising effect on the overarching process through examples of lived cooperation and multiplication.
The real feat consists first of all in building up and expanding an appropriate awareness among the local/regional population for the connections between processes and laws of the existing natural space as well as the need for a sufficient supply of (healthy) food. First and foremost, it is important to win over the people, to build trust and to implement new farming methods together with them. This will only be possible with long-term support.
In doing so, we follow the principle that we ourselves will not be the owner of essential agricultural and natural compensation areas, but will only lease those that are used as cultivation areas for training, scientific studies and for initiating agricultural cooperation along complete value chains.