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PENC-MI is a Senegalese-run organization seeking to improve the quality of life of villagers in the department of Nioro du Rip in Senegal, West Africa. PENC-MI Kaymor services a population of over 18,000 people, most of whose livelihoods rely on subsistence farming of millet, corn, sorghum, and rice with peanuts acting as their main source of income. Currently they depend on the Senegalese government to provide agricultural seed. However, this seed is expensive, of poor quality, and often arrives late, leading to hunger and malnutrition.
Since its implementation in 2001, PENC-MI Kaymor has combated the fundamental problems of its citizens, specifically those in sustainable agriculture. In 2003 representatives implemented a seed extension program where PENC-MI gave farmers seed at the start of the planting season to be reimbursed in kind after harvest. Beginning with peanuts, PENC-MI planned to expand the program to the other main crops of the area in future years. The program quickly grew beyond their small office storage facility, so in 2004 leaders applied for a grant to build a proper facility to store seed. However, they have yet to receive money for this facility, an essential element to the program’s success and growth. A Peace Corps Partnership would pay for such a seed storage facility as well as seed treatment and storage materials, allowing expansion of this community-initiated project. In doing so, PENC-MI’s farmers hope to become self-sufficient in agricultural seed production, leading to greater food security, health, nutrition, and improved quality of life.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.
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