Adaptive Management in Practice: Glola Natural Disaster

Adaptive Management in Practice: Glola Natural Disaster

Posted On: Filed Under:

The devastating landslide that struck the Shovi Resort on August 3, 2023, had an acute impact on the ABL (Administrative Boundary Line) community of Glola. Nearly all 110 households in the area were financially impacted by the disaster, as the village is reliant on tourists that vacation at the resort. Additionally, many tourism accommodation providers had previously taken out loans which could not be repaid due to the landslide’s impact on the tourism economy. 

The USAID Resilient Communities Program took quick action to support the continuation of businesses in the community, to maintain incomes and livelihoods and prevent the outmigration of disheartened residents of Glola. Within less than six weeks of the disaster’s occurrence, the Program designed and began implementing disaster response efforts. Specifically, the Program supported the local municipality to repair a water pipe headway in Glola that was destroyed during the landslide. It was urgent to repair the headway before winter, to prevent the village’s sole water source from freezing.  

The Program also rapidly designed a Request for Applications (RFA) to support the community’s tourism sector. This RFA will provide grants to guesthouses and local food and agricultural businesses that supply food to tourists (bakeries, restaurants and other suppliers of food). To develop the RFA, the Program first visited Glola to assess the needs of local businesses. During this visit, the Program determined that many potential grantees would struggle with submitting a grant proposal. In response, the Program adjusted its approach and simplified the grant application form. The program also adjusted content presented at the grant information session to allow potential applicants to discuss their ideas and gain a good understanding of what the Program can and cannot fund. 

Lastly, the Program reached out to TBC bank, which had collected donations from the public for response efforts in Glola. The bank committed $20,000 to the Glola RFA. Additionally, the Program has allocated around $100,000 to support Glola’s businesses and strengthen the resilience of their local economy. 

Nigerien Producers and Businesses Participate in Technology and Innovation Market

Posted On: Filed Under:

On a hot sunny day in early June, 2023, hundreds of local producers, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, a local university and government officials gathered in Maradi, Niger, to participate in the inaugural Technology and Innovation Market, facilitated by the Feed the Future-funded USAID Yalwa activity. Featuring more than 207 different exhibits showcasing emerging agricultural technologies and innovations, the event aimed to create a space for groups to identify opportunities to work with and learn from each other to increase yields, improve product quality and boost sales, enhancing Niger’s agriculture sector.  

Events like these are critical to USAID Yalwa’s approach of strengthening market systems, with farmers and entrepreneurs like Ali Sayabou from Maradi being able to connect with people—many coming from other regions like Dosso, Niamey, and Zinder—that can help drive their operations to next level. Exhibitors promoted a variety of technologies related to food processing, agricultural inputs and animal and animal feed production, with Balami sheep, processed products, seeds and fertilizers recorded as the most sought-after items. For Sayabou, this was a great opportunity for him to connect with input and technology suppliers and learn how to use incubator technologies to expand his chicken coop.  

“I was really impressed with the Technology/Innovation fair this year,” he said. “Exhibitors showcased an incredible array of advanced agricultural technologies. I particularly enjoyed the demonstration of the solar-powered irrigation pumps and the large incubators. The company representatives were very knowledgeable and ready to answer all my questions. Overall, it was a rewarding experience, and I came away with lots of ideas to modernize my operation.” 

Reaching a total of approximately $7,000 (4,135,050 FCFA) in sales and fostering 134 new business relationships, the market was a success. This coming together of different market actor allowed groups like N-DEV, a Nigerien nongovernmental organization, to sell poultry incubators, dryers, mills and solar-powered irrigation pumps in mass to buyers, generating significant profits. Furthermore, 46 youth entrepreneurs who were recipients of USAID Yalwa’s Marketplace Entrepreneurship and Youth Entrepreneurship for Rural Innovation grants established business relationships with exhibitors and increased their familiarity with the innovative technologies presented at the event.  

With a lot of positive feedback, many participants requested that the Technology and Innovation Market become an annual event to continue fostering important linkages across markets, businesses, and technology providers. Following the event, USAID Yalwa has begun monitoring the relationships built and business deals made at the fair, with the goal of developing a joint plan with other implementing partners and stakeholders to scale the accessibility of technologies more broadly across ­­the activity’s areas of intervention.  

By helping businesses meet and partner with other businesses, the USAID Yalwa activity is working to build more sustainable livelihoods, promote knowledge exchange between market players and increase agricultural producers’ access to new markets and technologies. This is particularly important when it comes to affordable quality food, with strengthened linkages contributing to greater access for rural families and communities. 

Accelerating Investments When Access to Commercial Finance Is Constrained

Posted On: Filed Under:

One example of how the USAID Resilient Communities Program adds value to Georgia’s market system is by sharing in the risk of investments. While there is a thriving banking sector in Georgia and the cost of agricultural loans are reasonable due to a government-subsidized loan scheme, access to finance remains the most significant constraint to small and medium enterprise (SME) growth. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average interest rate charged to SMEs in Georgia is high and Georgian SMEs are dependent on the banking sector for meeting financing needs. The overall share of SME lending remains low and access to finance is still considered a key obstacle to SME development. Therefore, one of the priorities of Georgia’s 2021-2025 SME Development Strategy is to improve access to finance.

Factors such as low diversity of financial products to meet the needs of businesses, a dominance of assets-based lending, and traditionally underserved rural clients lead to businesses postponing investments needed for business growth. Through the USAID Resilient Communities Program’s grants component, Georgian companies have been able to realize investments earlier and accelerate their growth.  

NutsGe Ltd is one of the few hazelnut processing companies in Georgia that produces value-added products, including sorted shelled and in-shell hazelnuts, roasted and blanched hazelnuts and hazelnut paste and powder. Their processing facility in Zugdidi sources raw materials from around 200 local suppliers from Zugdidi and Tsalenjikha municipalities. The Program co-invested with NutsGe Ltd to introduce a new packing line and increase its drying capacity. This investment will enable the company to assist more farmers and enter both local and international retail markets with its own brand and under private labels. When applying for the USAID Resilient Communities Program grant, NutsGe Ltd’s assets were fully collateralized against outstanding loans, making it impossible for the company to secure additional funding from commercial banks. However, as a result of the Program’s support, the company restructured $800,000 in existing loans and received a credit line of $1 million from the Bank of Georgia. 

Another grantee, SP Luka Bekauri—a family-owned business consisting of siblings Luka (22) and Sopo (24)—renovated their historical family house in Gudamakari community, Dusheti municipality in 2019 to transform it into a guesthouse. After opening their guesthouse in 2021, Luka and Sopo realized additional tourist activities, which were lacking in Dusheti municipality, would increase guests’ length of stay. The family considered offering an outdoor education camp but, like other small-scale seasonal businesses in Georgia’s tourism sector, banks considered their business high-risk and would not provide a loan with an affordable interest rate and low collateral requirements. Additionally, SP Luka Bekauri had already taken out a consumer loan with a 17% interest rate from a commercial bank to renovate the guesthouse and could not afford another costly loan to expand their business. Fortunately, a USAID Resilient Communities Program grant enabled Luka and Sopo to obtain the equipment they needed for an outdoor education camp, which will increase the resilience of their business over the long-term, allowing them to more easily secure business loans. 

USAID Agriculture Program

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

The five-year, $23 million USAID Agriculture Program (2018-2023) works to accelerate the growth of agricultural sub-sectors that show strong potential to create jobs, improve incomes, and increase micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) revenues, with particular focus on the berry, culinary herb, stone fruit, perishable vegetable, pome fruit, table grape, mandarin and nut crop value chains.

To accomplish this, the Program facilitates partnerships with public and private sector actors and provides demand-driven technical assistance to farmers, agribusinesses and MSMEs in order to address value chain gaps and advance agricultural production and processing.

The Program also contains an integrated grant component to deliver cost-share grants to producers, processors, cooperatives, service/information/extension providers and associations. These grants are designed to address identified value chain gaps and develop agricultural sub-sectors, contributing to the sustainable development of the Georgian economy.

Program Approach:

  1. Increase productivity and productive capacity: The USAID Agriculture Program uses technical assistance to develop and update business plans, financial plans and market assessments, and provides competitive cost-share grants for medium-, small- and micro-enterprises (MSMEs), including producers, processors, service providers, cooperatives and associations.
  2. Build capacity to add value: The Program improves processing, storage and other techniques by providing training to farmers on production, harvesting and post-harvest techniques; and facilitates relationships between value-adding agribusinesses and smallholder or emerging commercial farmers.
  3. Meet international standards and certifications: The Program provides cost-share grants for MSMEs, facilitating market access to new domestic buyers and international markets and training producers and MSMEs on modern production and business operations.
  4. Strengthen linkages within agricultural value chains and to new markets: The Program encourages public-private partnerships by facilitating linkages and providing support to vocational education institutions, business service providers and enterprises to improve training curricula and access to private sector-led skills development opportunities. It also assists with developing business relationships and addressing financial institutions requirements to obtain capital for further growth.
  5. Strengthen capacity of cooperatives, extension and other service providers and associations: The Program facilitates the development and capacity building of business or sector associations; trains service and information providers on topics such as teaching methods, farmer outreach models and technical skills and knowledge; and supports dialog between extension providers, educational institutions and cooperatives to coordinate efforts to increase reach and effectiveness of extension.

Partners:

  1. South-East Europe Development (SEEDEV)
  2. World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO)

Cashew Cultivation: An Opportunity for a New Start

Posted On: Filed Under:

Jean-Baptiste Bationo, a farmer from Bouaflé in central Côte d’Ivoire

Less than five years ago, Jean-Baptiste Bationo, a farmer from Bouaflé in central Côte d’Ivoire, had no experience growing cashews and instead grew cocoa, which he had cultivated for over 20 years. However, with the cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV) devastating plantations across Côte d’Ivoire, Bationo’s harvests were affected, putting his operations in a tenuous situation. Bationo and farmers experiencing similar damage had to find a sustainable solution that would rid them of the CSSV problem and improve their activities for the long run.

This led Bationo to work with the USDA Food for Progress West Africa PRO-Cashew Project which offered to provide farmers with high-quality grafted seedlings as part of its cashew seedling initiative. This initiative aims to promote the expansion of trees with favorable traits such as larger nut sizes, resilience to climatic shifts and the ability to speed up the production of their first harvest, helping farmers increase their production and quality to be more competitive in local markets.

Seeing an opportunity to replace his virus-prone cacao with this new profitable crop, Bationo signed up to be shortlisted as a participant and eventually received 130 cashew seedlings from PRO-Cashew at a subsidized cost in 2022.

“I was very concerned, because I thought at the time [replacing my cacao plantation] was a huge loss for me,” Bationo said. “After all the effort I’d put into creating and growing my cacao plantation, I did not know what to do.”

For him, cashew planting was an ideal solution for replacing his cacao plantation. The grafted plants provided by PRO-Cashew are resistant to diseases and resilient to the effects of climate change. Additionally, cashew trees require less rainfall than cacao plantations.  Where cacao plantations require between 1,500-2,000 millimeters of rainfall annually, cashew trees only require 800-1,800 millimeters.[1][2]Finally, the grafted seedlings only take three years to produce their first harvest compared to the typical five years normal seedlings take, ensuring a quicker restart to his activities.

After taking advantage of the Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER) governmental program that supports farmers with uprooting their cacao crops to eradicate CSSV at no cost to farmers, Bationo’s plantation was ready to start fresh with his new cashew venture.

A year into the restoration of his plantation, his new cashew seedlings were developing well. And while waiting for the crops to start producing, Bationo decided to intercrop bananas and casava within the plantation to bring in an additional source of income. As he continues transitioning to a new and more sustainable agricultural endeavor, he hopes to serve as a source of inspiration to other cacao growers experiencing CSSV by helping them convert to the fruitful cashew sector.

For producers looking to transition into or enhance their cashew production, PRO-Cashew supports them to access improved planting materials, connect with technical experts that enhance their operations and participate in workshops designed to strengthen their financial management. The Project also works to build linkages with market actors such as seedling retailers—including those connected to commercial nurseries established through public-private partnerships, farm renovation and rehabilitation providers and rural-based service providers to help farmers develop transition plans and receive tree cutting and pruning services. With these options available, farmers like Bationo have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

[1] https://www.icco.org/growing-cocoa/#:~:text=Trees%20are%20very%20sensitive%20to,should%20not%20exceed%20three%20months.

[2] https://agroivoire.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/ftec-anacardier.pdf

Driving Development Along the Administrative Boundary Line: Supporting Locals to Transform Tourism in Chuberi

Posted On: Filed Under:

When you cross the Sagergili bridge on the way to Svaneti, turn left and you will arrive at one of the hidden delights of Western Georgia – the village of Chuberi. Surrounded by the majestic Northern Caucus ridge, nestled in the picturesque Nenskra river valley, and located just nine kilometers from the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia, Chuberi is rapidly emerging as a mini tourism destination in lower Svaneti, a mere hour away from Zugdidi.

Chuberi’s history is deeply rooted in ancient times, as evidenced by archaeological excavations. The Larilari burial grounds have revealed significant artifacts, including cremated bodies from the 8th-7th centuries BCE and gold coins minted in the names of Alexander the Great and King Lysimachus. These remarkable findings provide a glimpse into the past, showcasing the village’s historical significance.

Mikha Pilpani founder of Feel Funny Guesthouse

Amidst the stunning natural beauty of Chuberi and believing in the community’s ability to become a thriving hub for travelers seeking an authentic Georgian experience, a group of visionary locals are harnessing its tourism potential. One of these individuals is Mikha Pilpani, a proud seventh generation Chuberi native. Despite completing university studies in Tbilisi, Pilpani wanted to return to Chuberi and tourism provided him with an opportunity to have his own business while living in the place where he grew up. Pilpani embarked on a remarkable endeavor: the creation of the Feel Funny House guesthouse. Armed with determination and the knowledge he gained from YouTube tutorials, Pilpani set out to build the guesthouse.

His long-term vision for Chuberi extends beyond the guesthouse and is rooted in the belief that Chuberi possesses immense untapped tourism potential waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls from around the world. “I want Chuberi to be more than just a place on the map. I want travelers to come here and experience the unique culture, the breathtaking landscapes and the warmth of our community, he said.” With the support of the USAID Resilient Communities Program, he plans to introduce additional services that showcase the natural beauty of the community including horse riding tours along picturesque trails, thrilling hikes and bike tours. By expanding the offerings, he hopes to extend the stay of tourists in Chuberi from two to four nights. The increased tourism receipts will allow him to employ four to five locals in his business as stable hands and guides.

Mariam Khatchvani, a renowned Georgian filmmaker and a native of Svaneti, sees the cultural attraction of the Chuberi community. She has been organizing the Svaneti International Film Festival for three years and this year decided to expand showings of films to the Chuberi community. Mariam is driven to showcase the profound beauty of Mestia, intricate traditional values and the rich cultural heritage of the region. Chuberi had the honor of hosting a special event at the film festival- an open-air screening of the award-winning film “Dede,” directed by Khatchvani, which was filmed in the Svaneti mountains. When asked about the importance of the festival, Khatchvani replied, “The film festival holds the power to allure renowned actors, drawing in film-lovers and tourists thereby making significant contributions to the development of tourism and the promotion of Svaneti.” With the support of USAID, judges from the world-famous Sundance Film Festival were able to attend the festival together with 50 Georgian filmmakers, putting the festival on the international map.

While Pilpani and Khatchvani are driving the Chuberi community to embrace tourism, there are many challenges along the way. There is a pressing need to improve road access to the community, offer more accommodation and increase marketing efforts. Many community members are already seeing the benefit of developing tourism as a way to keep their community a vibrant, active and resilient place to live. Much like Pilpani’s example, tourism can be a reason for young people to return to the community. With individuals like Pilpani and Khatchvani, more tourists will flock to the hidden charm of Chuberi as the village continues to hold the promise of a bright and prosperous future, enriched by the dreams and aspirations of its people.

Growing Nutritious, Accessible and Resilient Food Systems in Burkina Faso

Posted On: Filed Under:

USAID Yidgiri improves rural incomes and stimulates demand for nutritious foods by supporting agro-processors to grow.

The processing of locally available, nutrient-rich crops can be a source of economic opportunity for many smallholder producers in Burkina Faso. Implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), the Feed the Future-funded USAID Yidgiri Activity supports agro-processors to overcome institutional, financial, environmental and market-related barriers so that they can easily and sustainably increase the local supply of safe, nutritious foods. It also partners with producer organizations, processors and other market actors to help them understand consumer needs and preferences in order to raise nutritional awareness and facilitate increased demand for these foods at the community and household levels.

Since 2022, USAID Yidgiri has trained 236 processors and retailers, including 109 women, on improved manufacturing practices and packaging standards, good hygiene and enhanced food storage and preservation techniques, while helping them to establish strong markets for their products. Training has also focused on strengthening sales techniques, canvassing for new points of sale and marketing goods to relevant distribution networks to help improve household incomes and enhance the nutritional status of women and children.

To date, USAID Yidgiri’s support to agro-processors has led to the establishment of 96 new points of sale and the generation of almost $1 million for producers like Awa Clémence Kabore that sell orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, milk and other products made from cowpea and small ruminants.

Kabore, an entrepreneur from Kaya who sells flour and chips made from home-grown orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, received training to upgrade her sales and distribution networks after an analysis conducted by USAID Yidgiri identified her business as having the potential to grow. Equipped with new skills and ideas to expand her business, Kabore successfully connected with nearby retail stores, 10 of which agreed to stock her products, and in less than four months was able to triple her monthly income from approximately $335 (200,000 FCFA) to approximately $1,000 (598,800 FCFA).

As Awa Clémence Kabore continues to develop her business, she anticipates that she will have the financial capacity to further diversify her products and establish her own store specializing in the sale of orange-fleshed sweet potato chips.

“USAID Yidgiri lives up to its name [“grow” in the Mòoré language] by helping us grow and open up economic opportunities. The testimonies I receive from customers and food managers continue to encourage me because they reinforce that my products are innovative and of good quality,” Kabore said while looking proudly at her products.

Through trainings conducted to build the capacity of agro-processors in Burkina Faso, USAID Yidgiri provides opportunities for entrepreneurs and producer organizations to increase their incomes and develop resilient livelihoods. Likewise, CNFA works to strengthen agricultural market systems across the Sahel—especially in the cowpea, poultry and small ruminant value chains. In 2022, CNFA trained over 6,000 producers, agrodealers, processors, breeders and traders in Mali to improve their agricultural practices, established more than 300 demonstration plots for agricultural producers in Burkina Faso and almost doubled the number of Nigerien producer organizations it supported, from 384 in 2020 to 658 in 2022.

Community Visioning Prioritizes Needs and Facilitates a Tangible Sense of Ownership

Posted On: Filed Under:

In Matabeleland North, one of the driest and most food insecure regions in Zimbabwe, USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded Amalima Loko activity empowers communities to address and take ownership of their development priorities. In Daluka Village, Ward 19, Lupane, community leader Moven Ngwenya reflects on his community’s experience a year after the village started the Community Visioning (CV) process.

“Amalima Loko set us in motion,” said Ngwenya, whose village’s CV process kicked off in June 2021 with the planning and preparation stage, which involves a series of exercises for communities to identify their existing structures, assets and formal and informal capacities to inform local transformation plans at the village and ward level. During this stage, communities generate a range of resources, including a socio-economic map, community resource map, historical timeline, vulnerability matrix and seasonal calendar for crops and livestock.

“We took part in several discussions on long-term food security and resilience planning,” Ngwenya recalls of the planning and preparation stage. “We started with resource mapping, during which we were asked questions about how we lived, what we had and what a thriving community looked like,” he recounted. “When they asked us what a thriving community would look like, we realized immediately that we were onto something life-changing and that we had taken an important step towards creating something that would provide the community of Daluka with some tangible sense of ownership.”

Ngwenya recalled that during discussions, Amalima Loko staff worked with the CV participants to overcome differences in community priorities. “At first, we had competing needs,” he said. “Some wanted food, others water, while others wanted schools and bridges. We worked with Amalima Loko to rank and prioritize our needs.”

These discussions feed into a cohesive community vision, including goals and actionable steps, with a focus on resilience. In Daluka village, ultimately community discussions led to the prioritization of water access through drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes that can provide clean water for people and livestock.

“We identified access to water as an important and immediate need,” Ngwenya said. “We concluded with a concrete action plan at village and ward level, where we now have both short-term and long-term goals that we are striving to achieve in solidarity as a community.”

The Daluka Ward 19 Transformation Plan was finalized in December 2021, and set goals such that by 2030, community members, inclusive of all genders and abilities, will have access to adequate potable water, productive agriculture, market linkages, improved health and nutrition, education, inclusive skills development, natural resources management skills and  recreational services.

Ngwenya’s  community is now in the implementation stage of the CV process, where communities take actions to achieve the goals outlined in the transformation plans. Accomplishments to date include:

  • Ten boreholes in the watershed cluster rehabilitated with Amalima Loko support (two within Daluka Ward).
  • Five new boreholes targeted for construction in the watershed cluster (one within Daluka Ward) by Amalima Loko—currently at the solar installation stage.
  • One rehabilitated borehole completed by Mafinyela Village through collective action independent of Amalima Loko.
  • Gulley reclamation conservation works throughout the ward.
  • Rehabilitated feeder roads from Sibangani Village leading to major health facilities.

“The Community Visioning process under the Amalima Loko program has been a true turning point for the Daluka community,” Ngwenya said. “Amalima Loko came through with a Community Visioning approach which gave us direction and strengthened our voices to determine projects and set the pace at which we wanted this development to happen. I must say this was a welcome initiative.”

Amalima Loko is funded by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and implemented by CNFA. It is designed to improve food and nutrition security for more than 82,800 vulnerable households in rural Zimbabwe through increased food access and sustainable watershed management. The activity’s Community Visioning process has reached over 42,000 people of diverse genders, ages, abilities and social groups in more than 500 villages.

Preserving Food and Preserving Lives: Improving Income through Innovative Preservation Technologies

Posted On: Filed Under:

Diakité Mariam Diarra is an agri-food processing entrepreneur from Koutiala, Mali, where she actively watched and helped her mother produce and sell home-made natural juices throughout her childhood.

“I decided to continue my mother’s passion in the field of food processing.” Diarra said. “However, my experience remained basic until 2014, when I received training provided by the the Support Fund for Vocational Training and Apprenticeship (Fond d’Appui à la Formation Professionnelle et à l’Apprentissage FAFPA).”

Since, she has been able to enhance her ability to market locally, as well as to Bamako. Her success led her to exploring export opportunities even, participating in the International Fair of Agriculture and Animal Resources (FIARA) fair in Senegal.

In 2022, Diarra started collaborating with the Feed the Future Mali Sugu Yiriwa activity through an Open Day Event organized in Koutiala, where she won first prize in the culinary contest and received a 100-kilogram gas drying machine. After this, her work with the Activity progressed, participating in other  trade events—both nationally and regionally—where she could sell her products and establish new business relationships.

“I attended several trainings that greatly improved my food processing skills which has enabled me to increase my income,” she said. “I particularly appreciated the session on good preservation practices for perishable products.”

Like other vendors in Sugu Yiriwa’s intervention zones, Diarra was facing significant waste of perishable products. With excessive use of fertilizers, frequent power cuts and high temperatures, the vegetables she bought would lose their freshness and quality over a period of two days, forcing her to get rid of the produce and bear financial losses.

According to statistics[1] from the diagnostic report of market garden production systems in Mali, market garden produce perishes at high rates in Mali, often exceeding 20%. To improve the availability and accessibility of nutritious and healthy products for households throughout the year, Sugu Yiriwa organized three trainings in November 2022 for 177 market actors on good preservation practices for perishable products.

During those sessions, participants worked on techniques to preserve food products in the short- and long-term, using technologies such as Zero Energy Cooling Chambers (ZECCs) and canary fridges, as well as modern methods like pasteurization, refrigeration and the use of preservatives. Brining was also presented as a preservation method.

“I put these new skills into practice by building a conservation chamber with cement bricks and sand that was available at my house,” Diarra said. “This method helped me save time, energy and money by better preserving my products.”

With these new skills and techniques, Diarra’s family is able to enjoy fresh produce regularly, including during the Ramadan season where she conserved carrots, peppers and tomatoes effectively for up to two weeks.

She also began producing brine for marketing, as well as for her own consumptions.

“The brine I produce helps diversify my sources of income and provide my family with vegetables such as green beans and carrots throughout the year, even when they are not available in the market,” she said. “While others struggle to find these vegetables, I am able to preserve them year-round.”

To share her experience, Diarra organizes individual capacity building sessions for her family, cooperative members and neighbors on her volition. With knowledge from the Sugu Yiriwa training, she was able to disseminate information to 40 individuals, improving their incomes and access to nutritious foods year-round, while also building capacity.

“I am proud of the positive feedback I received and the impact these training sessions have on their lives,” she said.

Access to nutritious food year-round is essential to addressing malnutrition, especially in Mali’s the southern zone, among children, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly. According to the 2022 Standardize Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) nutrition survey, the prevalence of acute malnutrition in Mali exceeds the 10% alert threshold in most regions. Feed the Future Sugu Yiriwa trainings, like the one attended by Diarra, contribute to improving household livelihoods and fostering resilience by enabling households to produce and consume healthy foods throughout the year.

[1] Rapport diagnostic des systèmes de production maraîcher au Mali, Projet SAFEVEG.