MALI – Deby Diarra is 50 years old and lives with her husband and 7 children in Sanankorobougou, a village in the rural community of Mountougoula, not far from Bamako. She and other women have been growing vegetables on a 1-hectare field for several years now. The women are members of ‘Jigisèmè’, a women’s organisation with 165 members.
“Vegetable cultivation has not been doing so well for a few years now. The wells had dried up and we didn’t have enough knowledge and working material to utilise the land properly. We wanted to grow our tomatoes, onions, lettuce, carrots, cabbages and aubergines all year round, but it didn’t work. Especially in the dry season from October to June, we often couldn’t harvest anything.
Join For Water and the municipality of Mountougoula have jointly examined the agricultural situation in our village. A lot of things have changed since 2017. 4 wells were made deeper, our women were trained in agricultural techniques and smart water use and we started working with new seeds. In the meantime, we are reaping the benefits of our work, we are selling our vegetables to wholesalers in Bamako. The proceeds are redistributed, and part of it goes to our organisation’s savings account. In addition, all members can claim a personal loan. I myself have already borrowed 15,000 CFA (about 23 euros) for personal purchases and school supplies for my children and grandchildren.
We can finally get back to farming, but additional steps are needed. Training remains important, especially with regard to the managing our organisation. There is also a need for a literacy project, it can only benefit the framework of our agricultural activities.”