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Making farming, farmers and families more resilient in Mali

Find out how Tearfund is helping farmers in Mali make their crops more resilient in the face of the changing climate.

Written by Tarryn Pegna | 17 Nov 2023

A butterfly with wings in shades of oranges perches on green vegetation in Mali.

A butterfly lands on a plant in Mali. Pollinators like bees and butterflies serve a critical purpose in agriculture by promoting plant and crop reproduction. Pesticide use and climate change (along with other factors) have led to a fall in butterfly populations. Using alternative, organic ways of protecting crops can have the added benefit of helping to protect these pollinators. Credit: Steve Goddard/Tearfund

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released in July of this year states: ‘Mali is extremely vulnerable to climate change and the country is already facing acute climate-related challenges from higher temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events. The impact of climate change has also contributed to a rise in food insecurity, with almost a quarter of the population expected to be either facing food insecurity or at risk of doing so by mid-2023. That is already having a hugely damaging effect on Mali’s economy and action is needed without delay to avoid a further increase in food insecurity.’

A large proportion of Mali’s population rely on farming to support themselves and their families. But, with rising temperatures and fluctuations in water availability (along with increased flooding and drought), as well as ongoing political instability, farmers like Boureïma are finding it more and more difficult to meet their vital needs.

‘Through training sessions about things like alternative composting and plant treatment using local organic products, Boureïma was able to find new solutions for his crops. ’

Issues facing farmers in Mali

Boureïma lives in a village in Koro in the central part of Mali. The climate in many parts of the country is divided into two periods: the rainy season and the dry season. This region is no exception. Unfortunately, the amount of rainfall in this part of the country has been quite low, forcing farmers to work harder than usual in order to have a substantial harvest. In addition to not having enough rain, farmers also face the problem of insects destroying their crops.

Boureïma tried a number of different cultivation techniques to solve these problems, but they did not bring the results he hoped for and his field did not give him the expected yields. This made living conditions very difficult for him and his family.

Climate-resilient farming

In the midst of this difficulty, Boureïma received some support from Tearfund's local partner, AEDM. Through attending training sessions that built farmers’ knowledge about things like alternative composting and plant treatment using local organic products, Boureïma was able to find new solutions for his crops at a fairly low cost. Thanks to the compost he learnt to make, he was able to make his field more fertile. He also received improved bean seeds (called woulibali) to plant. These seeds are better adapted to the climate and soils of this part of the country.

And things improved for Boureïma, his farming and his family!

‘By the grace of God, this year the bean harvest was very good!’ he says. ‘In addition to the seed, AEDM trained us in composting and processing with local products, all this made sure that I had a very good yield.

‘I thank [Tearfund] for this initiative and for the support. In addition, I say a big thank you to the [partner staff] for their advice and support at any time to the farmers of our village.’

Pray for Mali

    • Pray for farmers like Boureïma and their families. Ask that the work they do in their fields will be blessed and that they will be able to meet their needs through their farming.
    • Pray for the climate. Ask God to bring restoration of enough rain in season and to protect people and their farms from drought, flooding and pests that destroy crops.
    • Pray for stability in Mali and for an end to conflicts that make life even more challenging for people already facing difficult circumstances.

Written by

Written by  Tarryn Pegna

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