Sevare, Mali (April 11, 2014) — In recent months, Malian farmers supported by the Near East Foundation were able to produce 33.7 tons of food, with an estimated value of 8,425,000 CFA – or nearly $18,000.
Most communities in northern Mali experienced a poor agricultural season and they are still struggling to recover from drought and political unrest. Despite this, NEF’s support in eight villages helped to ensure food security and income for hundreds of families.
NEF provided support to over 400 people – nearly 80% of them women – to develop and improve production through market gardens. Farmers produced crops including shallot, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, peppers, carrots, and beets.
For vulnerable families in the region, the impact of these market gardens has been significant.
Balkissa Kassambara, from Dari in the rural commune of Diaptodji, estimates that her personal revenues from the sales of products have been nearly 150,000 CFA ($350).
“My revenues have allowed me to help us with daily expenses for food, healthcare, and the education of our children. This has been so important, especially during a bad agricultural season,” Balkissa said. “I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the project and what it has done for my family.”
Through its work, NEF seeks to improve the capacity of villagers to meet food needs and increase their income for years to come. NEF continued to work with communities to strengthen their ability to manage investments and improve the governance of farmers’ organizations (groups of women) to provide ongoing support.
In the coming months, NEF will continue to work with market garden farmers in the eight villages of Bagui, Korientzé, N’Gorodia, (rural commune of Korombana) Dari, Deri (rural commune of N’Diaptodji), Mounouwel, Kikara (rural commune of Gandamia), and Gafity (rural commune of Débéré).
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international NGO leading innovative social and economic development in the Middle East and Africa since 1915. For nearly 100 years, NEF has worked to empower citizens in disadvantaged, vulnerable communities. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to find grassroots solutions to their development challenges. NEF’s “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” approach is helping build more prosperous, inclusive communities throughout the region. To learn more visit www.neareast.org