Joint Action for Farmers’ Organisations in West Africa (JAFOWA)


Joint Action for Farmers’ Organisations in West Africa



 JAFOWA, Joint Action for Farmers’ Organisations in West Africa, is an initiative of 4 foundations (Fondation de France, Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cariplo and OSIWA), operated by the Network of European Foundations. JAFOWA will support farmers’ organisations through grant making and capacity development with an initial focus on Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal.



Over the last decade or so, several leading analyses on agricultural production and consumption have been published. All arrive at a similar conclusion: the current agricultural production and consumption system needs to urgently change (IAASTD, 2009; UNCTAD 2013; De Schutter, 2014; FAO, 2006).

Despite the boost in agricultural production over the past decades, hunger is still prevalent. The current production and consumption system has caused many environmental problems such as soil erosion, pollution, an increase of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and loss of (agro) biodiversity. There are also unfavourable national and international financial and trade policies that result in a retreat from farming in developing countries with large numbers of predominantely young people forced to migrate to cities.

By 2050 Africa will be the most populated continent with one fourth of the world‘s population being African. This is why addressing agricultural production and consumption challenges by supporting approaches to change in this region of the world is both timely and critical.

Farmers’ organisations (FOs) have a critical role to play in this context. They are the ones who can achieve concrete improvements at the ground level by providing services to farmers and by supporting the development of virtuous local food systems. They are also the ones who can bring a change at a national and regional level through their advocacy work and cooperation with their local and national authorities. At the same time, they are facing challenges in fully playing their role, reinforcing their capacities and working together. Local food systems, transition towards agroecological practices and gender approaches, are both necessities and opportunities for FOs to fulfill their potential.

Vision and Strategy

JAFOWA seeks to reinforce FOs who work with smallholder farmers, pastoralists and fishermen, to manage quality local food systems that benefit their families and communities in ecologically sustainable ways. It aims at supporting a strong and equitable farmers’ movement in West Africa.

This movement proposes local and regional policies, promotes ecological solutions and enables the leadership of women and youth.

JAFOWA believes that farmer organisations that are inclusive of young men and women, and that are well-networked and connected with other stakeholders at all levels, can promote sustainable growth of the family farming sector in West Africa. To this end, JAFOWA supports innovation and knowledge sharing to improve agro-ecological production, marketing and processing by providing services to farmers and by influencing decision-makers to create a supportive policy environment.

JAFOWA has defined principles that will guide its intervention on the ground. You can read on them by clinking on the following link:

JAFOWA Mission and Principles

JAFOWA’s Projects

JAFOWA has released its first call for proposals and  now supports eight farmers organisations through grant making, partnering and capacity development.

Find a full list and description of the projects here.

JAFOWA’s Theory of Change

Jafowa’s theory of change is summed up in the graph below


Theory of change for Grantmaking