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Abstract

Smallholder farmers in developing countries often lack appropriate cereal storage facilities which can contribute to food insecurity and low cereal commercialization, particularly when they can only rely on one cropping season with no irrigation. Lack of quality storage can lead to post-harvest losses (Abass et al, 2014; Sheahan and Barrett, 2017) and often compels smallholder farmers to sell their crops soon after harvest, when crop prices are at their seasonal lowest, only for them to buy grain for consumption during the lean season, when prices are high (Kadjo et al, 2018; Aggarwal et al, 2018; Stephens and Barrett, 2011). In many instances, such farmers need food assistance to survive the lean season and in other cases, they may have to borrow money at usurious rates in order to purchase food. This was the case in Guéra Region of Chad, a semi-arid area that frequently experiences droughts and dry spells in ways that severely reduce crop production and rural households’ food security. To address these issues, the IFAD-funded Programme d'Appui au Développement Rural dans le Guéra (PADER-G) project was implemented with the main objective of supporting poor rural households and smallholder farmers in Guéra, Chad to improve their food security and livelihoods. One specific aim of PADER-G, designed to manage risks of food shortage, was to improve cereal storage among smallholder farmers through the construction of community cereal banks (banque de céréales). This main element of the project was complemented with the establishment of community committees (Comité de gestion des banques de soudure – COGES) which were trained on effective management of the cereal banks.

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