Building a geographical indication for weda from Casamance

Science at work 12 May 2022
Establishing a geographical indication for weda (or madd) from Casamance is the first project for the GI Support Fund (Facilité IG), an initiative launched by CIRAD and AFD last year. This Senegalese wild fruit is eaten either fresh or processed, and is a major resource for the local economy.
Weda seller on the streets of Dakar (Senegal) © R. Belmin, CIRAD
Weda seller on the streets of Dakar (Senegal) © R. Belmin, CIRAD

Weda seller on the streets of Dakar (Senegal) © R. Belmin, CIRAD

The NGO Économie Territoires et Développement Services (ETDS) has been supporting weda value chain stakeholders in Casamance for years. This is what prompted the GI Support Fund to provide ETDS with technical and financial support for the establishment of a "Madd de Casamance" geographical indication (GI). This is the first project to be supported by the GI Support Fund.

Weda fruit on tree © R. Belmin, CIRAD

© R. Belmin, CIRAD

The project has three years of funding, and centres on three components aimed at building the GI and structuring the value chain:

  • Supporting governance and the long-term future of the Association pour la protection et la promotion de l’IG Madd de Casamance.
  • Supporting the economic development and organization of the weda value chain by means of promotional activities and improved market access, technical and organizational innovations and the establishment of a system of governance.
  • Making the "Madd de Casamance" GI a tool for sustainable territorial development, by taking account of environmental issues and establishing collective management of the weda resource and its natural habitat.
Seller showing a weda fruit on the streets of Dakar, Senegal © R. Belmin, CIRAD

© R. Belmin, CIRAD

Weda (Saba senegalensis) is a wild fruit that is emblematic of Casamance, a cultural and historic region of southern Senegal. It grows on creepers that wind around large trees in the region's different forest ecosystems. Weda is consumed either fresh or processed, in the form of juice, syrup or tinned fruit, and is a major resource for the local economy.

The GI Support Fund's second project is about to begin. It concerns a GI for lamb from Karoo, South Africa.

The GI Support Fund: the first fund in support of geographical indications
The GI Support Fund is a four-year programme to support geographical indications for countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
It was launched by CIRAD in 2021, with support from AFD.
Its projects cover the establishment of GIs, the construction of legal frameworks, support for existing GIs and the identification of products that could benefit from GIs.
The GI Support Fund covers a range of situations, including countries where GIs do not benefit from any form of legal protection.