Sevare, Mali (July 15, 2013) — An estimated 28.2 tons of vegetables have been produced in 2013 through an NEF initiative to support smallholder farmers in eight villages in Mali, where political instability, drought, and climate change have caused widespread hunger.
The combined monetary value of the crops is 7.05 million CFA francs (based on an average cost of 250 FCFA per kilogram on the local market).
This significant food production and cash income for farming families was made possible after NEF distributed—free of charge—1,775 kilograms of seeds in Mali this year and provided support through the growing process.
NEF has helped farmers in the villages launch and operate market gardens where they sell a portion of their produce to meet community food needs and meet their own financial needs. Families eat the remaining portion of their produce at home.
Their new crops include potatoes, tomatoes, beets, cabbage, lettuce, and peppers.
Overall, NEF’s market garden activities are contributing to a reduction in the exodus of young people and women from impoverished villages. We are also helping to improve household nutrition and to create a sustainable source of both food and income in rural areas.
In addition, NEF’s support is building the skills and capacity of participating farmers. In the past few months, we have organized seven group training sessions to share tools ranging from sustainable management of investments to good governance in farmers’ organizations. Producers have also learned conservation strategies and ways to improve vegetable processing, including the use of drying techniques and storage boxes to better promote their products.
The villages in need where farmers are now producing vegetables with NEF support include: Bagui, Korientzé, N’Gorodia (rural town of Korombana), Dari, Deri (rural town of N’Diaptodji), Mounouwel, Kikara (rural town of Gandamia), and Gafity (rural town of Debere).