In 1984, in order to get an idea of the problems that hamper development in rural areas and the responsibilities that farmers take in the face of these problems, it was decided to organise meetings during which farmers, male and female, gathered in workshops, had to identify these problems and give their opinion on the responsibilities they take. These meetings were called : Farmers speak out.
Given the socio-cultural and economic diversity of Cameroon, meetings of this nature were organised in the four major divisions of Cameroon. In all regions, five major problems were mentioned by the farmers: Lack of financial means (necessary for investments); Lack of technical support (in carrying out activities); Social problems (such as witchcraft, jealousy, influence struggles); Lack of training (know-how); Isolation (lack of openness and sharing of experiences).
1985-1987: for three years, and on an experimental basis, a sample of individual producers or groups benefited from support to solve these problems: - savings and credit system trials, exchange trip trials, training trials and technical support trials... These different trials were coordinated by a service called SAILD: Support Service for Grassroots Development Initiatives, which was set up within a local organisation: CEDAC (Centre pour le Développement Autocentré), which is based in the south of Cameroon, at 200 kilometres from Yaoundé.
The transformation of a support service into an NGO
At the end of 1987, at the end of the experiment and after analysing the results, there was no doubt that farmers' organisations were the link that the rural environment needed most for its development. These organisations, understood here as "a farmers' place", within which farmers express themselves, exchange, help each other, take commitments and initiatives, negotiate, and even assume responsibility. Once this conclusion was reached, and given the important relational network already existing between the leaders and SAILD, the option was taken to transform this service into an NGO, with the prospect of setting it up in a less peripheric city.
This is how SAILD NGO was created in early 1988, with the status of an international association, for reasons of legal opportunity.
The 2nd transformation of the NGO into a "lean and mean" institution (flexible, efficient and focused)
In 20 years of operation, SAILD has positioned itself as a solid and credible institution, thanks to the positive results obtained in successive programmes on the ground. Its reputation in Cameroon, in urban and rural areas, as well as in the public and private sectors and in civil society is well established.
At the same time, the rural world has undergone profound changes, forms of poverty have become multiple, migratory flows and cross-capital flows between urban and rural areas have never been so dense, with, among other things, the advent of new classes of elite farmers or rich rural women alongside the poor masses. The supervised FOs have matured while new ones are emerging, with new support needs
Following the overall evaluation of the institution in 2009, the SAILD aims to be flexible, efficient and focused on its established expertise.
2012, birth of a Cameroonian SAILD established under Cameroonian law.
SAILD is a member of the SAILD International network under Swiss law