Bamako, Mali (April 2, 2012) – Average cash income for participating farmers has increased by 58% in an NEF project designed to improve rural livelihoods in areas of chronic hunger and poverty.
The project is helping families in northern Mali establish market gardens where they grow crops for consumption and for sale. The gardens benefit nearly 700 households and over 7,500 people in ten villages.
NEF’s work with the farmers is increasingly significant because of prolonged drought and the March 2012 coup d’etat by Touareg rebels. The project’s development of both agriculture and non-conventional water resources enables greater self-reliance and stability in the face of ongoing environmental and political turmoil.
By learning new production techniques, including irrigation and fertilization, farmers are increasing their capacity to grow more crops — building their food and financial security, and the economy of their villages.
The crops grown include shallot, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, beets, peppers, okra, and potatoes. Estimated total production to date is 60,000 kg – a market value of over $40,000.
Along with the increased revenue, project beneficiaries are now able to save money on food and related products (like condiments) that they would have previously purchased, but are now available in local gardens.
With the combination of increased revenue and new savings, the benefiting households are experiencing an average of a 108% increase in revenue.
Helping communities develop non-conventional water resources – particularly spring catchment and rainwater harvesting – is a cornerstone of NEF’s efforts in Mali to promote food security and cope with climate change impacts like persistent drought. NEF field staff is improving the technical capabilities of market garden organizations, while promoting a continuous production of crops during all seasons.
For 25 years, NEF’s work in northern Mali has dramatically improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the region.
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international development NGO leading innovative social and economic change in the Middle East and Africa. Founded in 1915, NEF has worked to empower citizens in disadvantaged, vulnerable communities for almost 100 years. 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. Our comprehensive “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” approach is helping build more prosperous, inclusive communities throughout the region. To learn more visitwww.neareast.org.