"Driving through mounds and mounds of
white desert sand in the
, one can’t
imagine the vision ahead: healthy, green fields, lush wheat plots, and a drying
rice harvest nearby. Two plots, 30 hectares each, as green and fertile as the
wheat fields of
Using a new irrigation facility and a new planting technique called SRI (System
of Rice Intensification), first pioneered in the
have increased their yields of both rice and wheat using lesswater,less seed,and less labor!
New cultivation techniques under the SRI project,
implemented by Africare in the
have empowered farmers to more than double their crops. And in between the rice and
wheat yields, they are also growing vegetables for themselves and for sale.
Former farmers who had fled the country are now returning to profitable
agricultural production. Milling is being done on site with women
playing a prominent role in managing the milling equipment, even renting it out
to others to generate income. In addition, there are literacy classes for men
and women including bookkeeping and business management, nutrition programs,
improved water and sanitation, and Africare is helping the region's farmers
engage in cooperatives and larger agricultural associations. Both the United
States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the Government of Mali
are so impressed by the pioneering work of Africare, the innovative techniques
and the sustainability of this project, that they are planning to replicate
them in other arid, rural areas.
The "think green" revolution is here, and
Africare is taking the lead!