Unlocking Potential through Partnership
Bringing the local together with the global, our collaboration with Nexira — one of the world’s business leaders in natural ingredients for food and nutrition — is a key example of SOS SAHEL’s successful partnerships. Acacia Gum (also called Gum Arabic) is of particular interest to Nexira, who is a leading provider of this ubiquitous product additive present in things like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and drinks.
Together with Nexira, we launched the Acacia Project in Chad. Harvesting Acacia Gum is an essential activity in Chad, accounting for 40% of family farm incomes in the dry season.
This project touched on all of our activity areas, with a through line of empowering women, who make up the majority of Acacia Gum harvesters. We identified critical gaps in family farm tools to ensure gum quality, counteracted soil fertility problems by planting more than 2 million trees and expanded education around resource management to ensure product sustainability and longevity. Nexira also helped expand our network of innovators and collaborators, bringing in Danone and Firmenich to add greater technical expertise and support.
Together, we have dramatically altered the entire Acacia Gum value chain in Chad — regenerating more than 10,000 hectares of Acacia forest, expanding annual production from 1,500 to 2,600 tons and launching 128 producer groups and 9 unions with leading roles for women.