ITF have received a very encouraging end of year report from Sahel Eco, our project partners in Mali who are managing the Re-greening Sokura project.
This project is located in the Mopti Region of Mali and aims to develop a community forestry programme throughout the Mopti district. The desired result of this programme is to alleviate poverty through increased production and more sustainable use of trees and tree products on agricultural land whilst also reversing the effects of deforestation and land degradation on rural and urban livelihoods.
The first year of this project has primarily focussed on raising awareness amongst local farmers and local authorities through film debates and farmer-to-farmer visits (passing on information and knowledge directly between farmers). Farmers are encouraged to establish their own tree-planting initiatives on their land to supplements their income and reduce pressure on nearby forests.
This awareness-raising has already produced tangible results. At the end of it’s first year, the project has supported five individual and one collective initiative, which have planted a combined total of 4000 trees.
The farmers and collectives that the project has worked with so far appear to have benefitted a good deal. One such success story provided by the project is outlined below:
Ousmane Cissé is from the village of Sakarel. Since childhood he farmed with his parents and as head of a family, he still cultivates today. When the project started in his village he attended training in FMNR and in tree planting techniques and went on a visit to plantations in the nearby commune of Sio.
Inspired by what he saw and in particular by the potential to earn income from the sale of fruits, tree seedlings and other tree products he decided to hand over care of the millet fields to his children from now on and to devote himself entirely to his plantation. He fenced off about 2 hectares of land with a well on it and planned to plant 1050 trees. However when other planters said that they could not take all the plants they had asked for, he took those too and planted 2212 trees in all.
“When I saw and learnt everything that I could earn from planting trees, and compared it to what I earn from my millet fields, I decided it was better for me to change. That’s why this year I’ve decided to devote all my time to planting, nothing but planting and to leave the millet fields to my children… My only dream now is to see people coming to me, to visit my plantation, to be the best of all who benefited from plants this year and even to rival the planters in neighboring communes”
Ousmane Cissé, Age 45, Sakarel Village