In the latest installment of our weekly column, “Gems of Family Farms,” we delve into the agricultural riches of Senegal to uncover a unique and inspiring story. Senegal, a land of traditions and innovations, offers us an epic tale revolving around rice, driven by the bold and determined women of UJAK.
The Union of Young Farmers of Koyli Wirnde (UJAK) is an organization founded in 1987. Initially focused on marketing kitchen utensils and Processing fruits and vegetables, a commission promoting women was established that same year. These strong foundations allowed remarkable evolution over the years. In 2000, three female members benefited from training dedicated to the transformation of agricultural products, supported by WINROCK International.
Senegal’s green gold, rice, quickly became the linchpin of their activities. Their journey in rice transformation is striking. It was not only about growing rice but innovating. They created a variety of derivative products such as rice couscous, araw, and thiacry. Moreover, the packaging was designed for various market segments, offering portions tailored to consumer needs. Their success is undeniable: by 2004, they reached a prodigious stock of 30 tons of quality transformed rice and even made their mark at the International Fair of Agriculture and Animal Resources.
But this journey was not without hurdles. The rice market is competitive; the demands are high, but UJAK’s women managed to navigate with finesse and strategy. Their key? Ensuring constant availability of transformed rice at constant prices while exploring new market horizons.
Beyond an agricultural story, it’s a narrative of female leadership, innovation, and determination. UJAK’s women, through rice transformation, have shown that with passion and relentless work, revolutionary changes can be achieved.
In the end, UJAK’s journey is a celebration of human ingenuity. It’s a reminder that when passionate women come together with a vision, they can redefine the landscape of an entire nation.
For a detailed insight into this agricultural epic, we strongly encourage you to download the complete document on our knowledge management platform: NETWORK OF WOMEN RICE PROCESSORS
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer