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WOMEN in Niger perform most of the country's agricultural labor, but on average they earn only half the income of their male counterparts.
ADF is working with the members of the Matameye Women's Cooperative to help them develop a profitable off-season income-generating activity through home-based peanut roasting and peanut-oil pressing. The project will also provide Matameye members with literacy training, business management training, and financial management training.
|Project||Location||Funding Level||Funding Period|
|Matameye Women's Cooperative Project||Matameye, Niger||$102,000||FY 2004-2008|
by Lisa Overbey, ADF Knowledge, Learning & Dissemination Intern
While women comprise half of Niger’s population and perform most of the labor in the country’s agricultural sector, their essential contributions to food security and family income do not translate into equal access to social and economic opportunity. While one-quarter to one-third of adult Nigerien men are literate, only 9 percent of Nigerien women can read or write at least one language, a factor that limits their ability to engage in commerce and negotiate better prices for their produce. As a result, the average Nigerien man earns an income that places him well above the national per capita income, while women on average earn only half as much as their male counterparts.
To help rural Nigerien women achieve greater economic security for themselves and their families, ADF is working with the Matameye Women’s Cooperative to assist its 169 members in creating sustainable off-season income-generating activities beyond their work as agricultural producers.
The Matameye Women’s Cooperative was established in 1996 to unite five groups of female peanut oil producers. They came together to achieve samu naka - “getting our fair share” – through a partnership focused on the bulk purchase and value-added processing of peanuts for sale to local consumer markets. The women roast and press peanuts to produce a low-cost cooking oil whose taste is strongly preferred by Nigeriens over more-expensive, imported, soy- and palm-oil based vegetable oils. Matameye also produces peanut cake, which is packaged and sold as a popular flavor additive to meats, vegetables, and salads.
ADF is providing Matameye with US $102,000 in financing to expand its operations through:
The bulk purchase of shelled and hulled peanuts;
The construction a storage facility that will allow the group to store bulk-purchased peanuts and peanut-processing equipment;
The purchase of five peanut-hulling machines, six improved roasting stoves, six oil presses, and wooden palettes to assist in peanut storage;
A motorcycle to assist the group’s management in coordinating activities with its individual members;
The acquisition of training for cooperative members in bookkeeping, project monitoring and evaluation, credit management, business and marketing management, group dynamics, and HIV/AIDS awareness; and
The capitalization of a revolving-loan fund that will allow Matameye members to finance their peanut-processing activities and other home-based income generating ventures.
With ADF’s financial support, it is expected that Matameye will:
Expand the cooperative’s gross annual income over five years from US $471 to US $46,000;
Increase the total net profit of the five women’s groups from zero in year one of the project to US $35,000 by year five;
Establish a sustainable revolving fund that will achieve a total capitalization of US $110,000 by year five of the project;
Increase the annual number of loans extended to group members from zero to 2,963 over five years; and
Maintain a loan repayment rate of 98 percent during the project period.