U.S. Ambassador Lauds NCBA CLUSA’s ARZIKI Project


May 9, 2013

Contact: John Torres
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Ambassador Williams Lauds NCBA CLUSA International’s ARZIKI Project as an Example for Women’s Empowerment in Food Security In Niger

(NIAMEY, NIGER) – NCBA CLUSA International hosted Ambassador Bisa Williams, U.S. Ambassador to Niger, on Friday, April 26 to tour the work being done in food security and women’s rights by the CLUSA-implemented USAID-funded Niger Food Security Project, ARZIKI.

NCBA_CLUSA_Niger_Arziki_ProjectAmbassador Williams shares land use title presented by Badaguichiri Mayor to the local women’s group. Ambassador Williams spent the day advocating for women’s rights to land for resiliency and food security – Nagaro Village – Badaguichiri Commune, Illela.

Ambassador William’s visit, focusing largely on innovative Climate Change Adaptation techniques implemented by ARZIKI, included stops in Tahoua, Zouraré Sabara, Ibarogan, Nagaro, and Awilikiss in the Tahoua region of Niger. Since 2010, ARZIKI, a local Hausa word meaning “prosperity,” has been working across multiple sectors to increase food security across the drought-stricken Sahelian belt of southern Niger. The project focuses on rehabilitating water sources, grant application literacy, mirco-finance linkages, reclamation of bio-degraded land, livestock, and improved agriculture techniques. ARZIKI is one of the first USAID-funded projects to see success in its implementation of Climate Change Adaptation activities such as using contour stone bunds to retain rain water and natural run-off, and providing women with long-term land lease contracts to turn the reclaimed land into productive space for income generating crops.

Ambassador Williams spent much of the day praising this technique and the villages partaking in it saying, “I commend the initiative to provide land access to landless women through the ARZIKI project, whereby women can now rehabilitate barren land by building contour stone bunds and produce food for themselves and their families.”

Women of Niger have struggled historically for a right to their own land. This particular success is a two-fold win as bio-degraded land is being rehabilitated while simultaneously providing a space for women to grow crops to feed their families and animals, as well as for income generation.

ARZIKI Chief of Party, Tom Gardiner says of this duel success, “These women are working hard to gain secure and long-term land use tenure documents, and they are tirelessly laboring to make these lands productive once again. By constructing contour stone bunds and digging zai planting pits, they consciously engage in two water harvesting technologies proven to guarantee production of food and cash crops. The men in their villages are seeing the impact of their efforts; some are even copying the technologies on their own farming plots; others are supporting them in their work.”

Before concluding her visit, Ambassador Williams said of NCBA CLUSA International’s ARZIKI project, “You are proof of success in Environmental Management. Keep doing it and share your knowledge and skills with others.”

Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCBA CLUSA International is a trade and international development organization with programs in 10 countries including Senegal, Niger, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, El Salvador, Indonesia and Timor-Leste providing sustainable community development in agriculture and food security, community based healthcare, democracy and governance, and natural resource management.


US Cuba - USCCWG Members

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EngageCuba Party Alan Amy MarcusEngageCuba Party Alan Amy MarcusAlan Knapp, NCBA CLUSA Vice President of Advocacy; Amy Coughenour Betancourt, CLUSA COO; and Marcus Laws, NCBA CLUSA Program Manager, attend the Government of Cuba/Engage Cuba’s event at the Embassy in December 2015.
AMY SCENIUS MOUAMY SCENIUS MOUAmy Coughenour Betancourt with Luis Dueñas Casal in November after signing MOU between NCBA CLUSA and SCENIUS.
Carlos Padilla CUSANCarlos Padilla CUSANCarlos Padilla, CLUSA El Salvador Agroecology Specialist, attends Cuba – U.S. Agroecology Network (CUSAN) 5th Annual Conference on Agroecology in November 2015.
Union station group picUnion station group picCuban delegation for May 2015 Co-Op Week at Union Station in Washington, DC. From left to right: Nancy Varela Medina, President, Confecciones Model Cooperativa; Eric Leenson, President of Sol2 Economics; Osmaglis Savineg Martinez, Vice President, Mercado Agropecuario Especial 101 Cooperativa; Alfonso Valentín Larrea Barroso, Commercial Manager, SCENIUS Cooperative; Luis Alberto Dueñas Casal, President, SCENIUS Cooperativa; Lumirt de la Cruz Arocha, President, Credit and Services Cooperativa “Sabino Pupo Milian."
Cubans at AU panel.JPGCubans at AU panel.JPGCuban delegation participates in public panel discussion hosted by American University in Washington, DC during May 2015 Co-op Week.
 2014USCCWGathavana 08d212014USCCWGathavana 08d21Members of the U.S.-Cuba Cooperative Working Group during the July 2014 exploratory trip to Cuba.
July4th celebration US ambassador residence5July4th celebration US ambassador residence5Fourth of July Celebration at the Ambassador’s Residence in La Havana, Cuba, July 2015.
cooperativa servipascooperativa servipasPublic transportation cooperative, SERVIPAS. July 2014
Screen Shot 2016 01 15 at 12.35.38 PM f4aeaScreen Shot 2016 01 15 at 12.35.38 PM f4aeaMembers of the Novedades automotive and mechanic cooperative in Cuba during July 2014 exploratory trip.

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NCBA CLUSA's U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group hosted a delegation of five Cubans from Cuba's emerging cooperative sector in May 2015 as part of Co-op Week. The delegation met with members of Congress, toured local co-ops and spoke on a panel at American University.
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