Audrey’s working trip to Senegal

Audrey, our agricultural engineer, travelled to Senegal and Mauritania from July 19 to August 1, 2022.

There is no shortage of agro-ecology actors in Senegal!

The objective was to meet key players, so that they adopt Artemisia. This was the wish of the late Professor Mergeai, who was extremely attached and committed to the Land of Teranga. The first House of Artemisia was created in Senegal thanks to the social enterprise Le Relais, under the brand Lion Vert.

The Kaydara Agro-Ecological Farm School is a place of reference for training, information, demonstration of agroecological practices and promotion of local initiatives for sustainable development.

Its founder and director, Gora Ndiaye, is now determined to become a House of Artemisia! Artemisia will now be included in training courses at the center but also in the islands of Siné Saloum, where no health center exists despite the ravages of malaria.

Gora shares our vision: that every family has its own Artemisia plant!

Audrey, Mansour Ndiaye and Youssou Sarr

After an impressive career, notably as director in Senegal of the international network APAF, Mansour Ndiaye is now devoting himself to his new venture. Afrique Verte et Fertile – Sénégal (AVF-Sn).

An agroforestry expert trained in Artemisia in 2019 at the House of Artemisia in Tivaouane, Mansour advocates family farming combining crops with fertilizer trees, fruit trees and medicinal plants.

Two new Houses of Artemisia, in the north and south of Senegal, are the result of this partnership.

The aim is to set up pilot Houses of Artemisia, in which Artemisia is cultivated in agroforestry, with fertilizer trees, other medicinal plants and food crops.

We are deeply motivated to join our two visions in this joint project in the current context of climate change and soil depletion!

Youssou Sarr, AFAFA coordinator, also wishes to initiate the cultivation of Artemisia with the women’s groups that he trains in agroecology.

MADESAHEL herbal teas

MADESAHEL, Methods Applied to the Development of the Sahel, is a non-profit association which was set up in July 1981, jointly by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the Faculty of Medicine of Dakar, the NGO ENDA Tiers Monde and the Ministry of Health.

Audrey visited its magnificent center, where Artemisia annua and afra are widely featured from the nursery to the herbal tea.

Contact with the Anamed Senegal network has also been made.

Audrey also had the pleasure of meeting Awa Cara in her store Sooretul.

This well-known promoter and distributor of agricultural products processed by women in Senegal is extremely interested in Artemisia.

Dynamique pour une transition agroécologique au Sénégal (DyTAES) is a large network that has brought together all the actors of Senegalese agroecology since 2019 with the aim of campaigning, raising awareness and accompanying territories in transition. We are in contact with its coordinator as well as the three expert consultants in agroecology, who are also involved in the Great Green Wall and the Tolou Keur program, which creates nourishing and medicinal forests for the self-sufficiency of villages while fighting deforestation.

Contact was also renewed with the Abbey of Keur Moussa.

All are very interested in Artemisia, already widely known and distributed in Senegal.

The visit to the Sainte Anne Health Center in Thies was a pleasant discovery. This dispensary is full of all kinds of natural products produced on the spot with Artemisia. Sister Françoise uses Artemisia in herbal tea, oil, cream and soap to treat many ailments.

Artemisia afra on the roof of the Sainte Anne Health Center

Finally, several Artemisia growers from the Thiès region met during a visit to the fields of the House of Artemisia in Tivaouane. Alihou Ndiaye, president of ASPSP/COASP Association Sénégalaise des Producteurs de Semences Paysannes honored us with his presence. The discussions were very fruitful, especially with Almut Hahn, agroecology pioneer for 25 years in Senegal and Adalbert Diouf, who is involved in several agroecological and farmers’ networks.

Maguelone Gilbert-Vidal, in charge of the House of Artemisia in Banco (Mali) – Timbuktu Heritage, was also present because of her new center for herbal medicine, the future House of Artemisia in Mboro.

Mobilization continues.

Alone we go fast, together we go further as the African proverb says!