SG 2000 Mali Empowering Communities, Media Witnessed Activities
Malian journalists from reputable media institutions and their crew had successful three days devoted to visiting and reporting on Sasakawa Global (SG) 2000 Mali interventions from October 25 – 27, 2016. Office de Radio diffusion Télévision du Mali (ORTM), the national broadcaster of the West African state of Mali, and Africable Television, among others, were part of the visit.
The visit focused on exchanges with farmers and extension agents, from the field to the market to households, on the benefits and key results driven by SG 2000 Mali`s interventions in the Ségou and Sikasso regions of Mali.
Seydou Sidibi is a community based facilitator (CBF) at a Farmer Learning Platform (FLP) and fertilizers input shop in Boidié, a commune in the Cercle of Barouéli in the Ségou Region of southern-central Mali. Sidibe told the visiting media: “I am the intermediary and facilitator between Sasakawa and the village community. They have done a lot of works here. When they came in, they thought us the techniques of micro dosing fertilizers: applying a small, affordable amount of fertilizer saving us resources and increasing our profits, against our previous practice of excessive use. SG 2000 is the first NGO to involve in such and other manners with such farmers` center here in Boidié. The benefits of our organizing itself is Sasakawa`s involvement. All the facilities you see here, they are Sasakawa`s work. Other NGOs partnering SG 2000 came afterwards. If others came, it is because they saw that SG had done very well. For us, it is they (SG 2000) who opened the eye, who opened the way, so that other partners add on to collaborate with the village community, help change the lives. Development is a chain: Sasakawa has started, others can finish. We are in that process.”
Yah Traore is another CBF of the Platform and women group president. She said: “I would like to say on behalf of the women group what this project has brought to our lives. To start with, seeing this infrastructure itself gives a good image for the village. Secondly, we have learnt to integrate our tasks and activities with male members. Thirdly, since the policy of Sasakawa is to ensure the supply of good fertilizer seeds, everything that is done is within this framework.”
The Mayor of the rural commune of Boidié, Lassana Sacko on his part said that Sasakawa has done a lot of activities with his community. He noted: “The ideas it has brought into our smallholder farming community has helped it produce sufficiently. The new farming and production techniques has enabled the community attain that.”
The Platform of Rice Women Group Niena is situated in the commune of Niena, Sikaso Cercle of Sikaso region. The platform was formed in 2014 and currently comprises of 11 villages and 556 members. The main activities of the Platform are upland and lowland rice production, parboiling, storage and marketing of rice.
Fatoumata Sangare is the Platform`s secretary of finance. She told reporters: “Our platform is composed of 14 women group. Sasakawa is involved in various domains. Thanks to Sasakawa`s intervention, today we are able to produce quality rice. Our partnership with Sasakawa has enabled us gain trainings and has thought us that `quality` starts right on the field. In postharvest activities, thanks to Sasakawa we have been able to acquire rice decorticator. Thanks also to their advice and provision, we have also acquired a rice sorting machine. We now select best quality rice which in turn fetch best market value. Moreover, ten groups in our Platform have hugely benefited from a month long adult literacy program with the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills of reading and writing, again thanks to Sasakawa. Before Sasakawa`s arrival, we had one note book for all the details and information of the Platform`s activities. Because of the training we got, we now defer to and manage different activities in different notebooks. Technical record keeping or our bookkeeping, everything is impeccably there. Sasakawa has also thought us towards good governance of the platform. We are very humble and our thanks are enormous for all that has been done and is being done.”