A visually impaired women receives a startkit of goats in the village of Sébété in Mali. Sida supports efforts to give farmers an additional income and access to food, through the purchase of goats and seeds.
Photo: Action Contre la Faim
Goats and seed will help Mali through the crisis
– I was very excited by this opportunity to increase my income and access to grains, as we have been without it for three months, explains Bougouri Keita, a widow and mother of two children, with a big smile.
Bougouri Keita lives in western Mali, which was hit hard by the recent food crisis of 2012, and where Sweden supports the recovery among vulnerable people. Residents in the municipalities Kita and Banamba receive support to agricultural activities and better access to food, as part of the Sida-financed resilience programme launched by the NGO Action Contre la Faim.
80 per cent of the population in the area subsists on agriculture and cattle herding, making them highly dependent on access to rainwater. When the rains fail to fall, or become erratic, this leads to severe droughts, creating food shortages more or less every year. The poorest households have the most difficulties to recover and therefore become even more vulnerable to unpredicted events.
Action Contre la Faim’s support include the recovery of livestock herds, which in reality means the purchase and distribution of goats. Goats and sheep are a good source of extra income and food. They are also cheaper, more durable and easier to raise than cows. The poorest households have also received a highly appreciated training about the benefits of goat farming, including a veterinarian teaching how to best take care of the goats.
Distribution of refined seed is another important activity, supported by the organisation.
– This is very good, because the seeds are distributed in time for the new farming season and they are adapted to our climate. For a long time, we have had to buy crops in the market, which has been very difficult for us being eight people in the household, with only one of us working, says a man receiving seed in Sakora village.
There are no rivers or permanent water bodies in the areas around the towns of Kita and Banamba, which makes desertification a constant problem. Activities that strive to conserve water and soil are therefor important. Villages around these areas have worked to deepen ponds and channels to give cattle access to water, and to increase biodiversity in order to cultivate more variedly over a longer period of the year.
About the support:
Action Contre la Faim carries out a project to help households that are most affected by the food crisis in the areas around the towns of Kita and Banamba. There is a total of 150 000 inhabitants in the areas, located in the regions of Kayes and Koulikoro. The goal of the intervention is to support the recovery among vulnerable people at local level, providing support to agricultural activities and improved access to food.
Sida is the sole donor, supporting the project in 2013 with a total of around 21 million SEK.
Examples of achieved results: