Senegal is an important salt producing country and exports salt throughout West Africa.
Iodizing salt has been law since 1995 but less than half of what the country produces is being adequately iodized.
For several years, MI has partnered with government departments, industry and producers’ organizations on monitoring, testing and improving iodization methods.
In 2005, MI shifted its focus to work primarily with small processors where efforts to adequately iodize had been failing.
The biggest obstacles were access to an adequate and quality supply of potassium iodate and an effective way to mix it into the salt. Most of these small processors belong to “groupements d´intérêt économique” or GIE, small salt cooperatives. MI introduced a model where mobile salt iodization machines and potassium iodate were provided to the GIEs, along with training on how to use them both.
GIEs use them to provide salt iodization services to salt harvesters and traders and collect fees through a cost-recovery scheme. The money is then used by the GIEs to buy more potassium iodate and maintenance for the salt iodization machines.
A steady demand for the potassium iodate ensures a consistent and quality supply. MI’s participative strategy development with GIE members established a sustainable and affordable procurement system. Three central purchasing units are set up for this purpose.
In 2007, 19 GIEs were provided with 28 mobile salt iodization machines and 7MT of potassium iodate which contributed to the production of 89,000 MT of iodized salt in one year by small salt processors.