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Changing Business as Usual in the Sahel

Our food and farming system is broken, and we cannot continue “business as usual”. But what are the pathways to building a more sustainable food system and more resilient communities? How does this affect the smallholder farmers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that provide up to 80% of food for these regions

Groundswell International is one of the 17 finalists selected by Global Resilience Partnership, an initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency that is looking to build resilience to acute shocks and chronic stresses in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. 

Peter Gubbels, Groundswell’s Director of Action Learning and Advocacy for West Africa, recently published an article on Devex titled: “Changing Business as usual: Harnessing agriculture for resilience in the Sahel”. The article discusses our innovative approach to scaling resilient rural livelihoods in the ecologically fragile drylands of the Sahel. Below is an excerpt from the article: 

Creating resilience requires shifting longer-term development strategies and funding priorities to address deepening inequities in access to adequate food, basic goods and essential public services in marginalized rural areas. It also means overcoming the barriers preventing the poorest and the most vulnerable groups from improving their livelihoods and resilience.

One essential strategy to achieve this change is by reallocating public resources and investments in agriculture. There is widespread agreement that increased support for small-scale agriculture holds the key to rural poverty reduction and improving food and nutrition security. The reality is that little public spending on agriculture reaches vulnerable farm households, and even less reaches women farmers.

The full article discusses our approach, “AE+6” (Agro-ecology plus Six), in more detail. To read the full article, please visit

Groundswell is working in collaboration with ETC International, Sahel Eco, Association Nourrir Sans Detruire and Agrecol Afrique on the Global Resilience Challenge. Learn more about our team


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