In the region of Kapatrès, in Guinea Bissau, women working in salt production boil brine (extremely salted water) to collect salt, a technique that requires a lot of wood from mangrove forest and is harmful to their health, due to smoke inhalation. The association Univers-Sel has developed, with local producers and salt workers from Guérande (France), a solar salt production method, an eco-friendly technique allowing them to collect salt by drying the brine on tarps exposed to the sun.
During a first 3-year phase (2016-2019) supported by the Foundation, 48 mentor-producers were trained to the solar salt production method and then shared their skills with 1 000 women. During a new 3-year phase (2020-2022), Univers-Sel wants to:
– Reinforce the anchor points and the diffusion of the technique : setting up baseline exploitations to become technical experimentation and training sites, creating an inter-branch organization in order to coordinate the different actors of the salt production sector, training 20 new women producers who will share their learnings with 500 other women producers;
– And reinforce and diversify women’s skills: training of 80 women producers in alphabetisation, financial management and good governance, creating 2 village organisations gathering women salt producers to mutualise sale and production, supporting the women through the development of complementary income generating activities, creating new experimentation techniques.
This project has multiple impacts for the environment (reduction of wood consumption, regeneration of the mangrove forest) and for the producers (higher income, improvement of their health and living conditions).
Founded in 1991 by Guérande salt producers, UNIVERS-SEL is an international solidarity organisation working for sustainable development of agriculture in West-African mangroves.