Samanko’s garden becomes a center of discovery for students
The sun-drenched fields of the Samanko Agricultural College Center are alive with vibrant greenery from an inspiring vegetable garden comprising okra, potatoes, onions, and carrots. The garden is at the heart of the newly established Enterprise Center (EC), a visionary project made possible by SAA-Mali’s unwavering support as part of its contribution for innovation, learning, and entrepreneurship.
At the EC, students embrace the learning-by-doing model, plunging their hands into the soil and enjoying the rewards of their efforts. The irrigation equipment provided by SAA-Mali allows them to cultivate crops effectively, demonstrating transformative power of technology in agriculture.
The EC has also grown to be a source of inspiration for the surrounding communities, introducing members to the principles of Market-oriented Agriculture (MOA), as envisioned by JICA’s Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) and SAA’s visionary “Grow to Sell” strategies. These strategies aim to enhance farmers’ entrepreneurial skills, breaking the cycle of poverty, and improve household nutrition at the community level.
Seydou Coulibaly, a supervisor at the Agricultural Learning Center (CAA) of Samanko, proudly praises the EC as a key platform that bridges the gap between theoretical learning and practical application.
“The Enterprise Center has become a springboard for many graduates, fueling their passion for agricultural entrepreneurship. These enterprising individuals have returned to their communities as beacons of change, not just as job seekers, creating job opportunities for the youth where none existed before,” he said.
Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in July 2023 with Focus on Mali