In the Mopti region, Central Mali, the Trees 4 Livelihoods project continues to make progress. In this update, we take a step away from tree planting to focus on activities aiming at building the skills of the community to make best use of the resources at hand.
In Mali, women are responsible for the harvesting and use of non-timber forest products. One of the aims of Trees 4 Livelihoods is to improve their organisation and increase their access to markets.
Sahel Eco has been targeting women and training them in transforming natural resources into products. In March of this year, 26 women from villages across Konna and Borondougou regions participated in workshops carried out by the Women’s Agro-food Association. They were trained in the transformation of local fruits like Tamarind and Balanites into syrups, jams and juices. These species were specifically chosen due to their accessibility and hardiness, with the ability to thrive in very dry areas, like Central Mali.
Further workshops took place covering the creation of soap using Henna as a base. Over four days in March, 20 women were trained in all aspects from the gathering of ingredients to the moulding and presentation of the soaps. Samples of the products were distributed to various local authorities as well as local radio for promotion.