Malian Farmer Credits SAA for Transforming his Community’s Food Security
“There was a time when hunger loomed over us,” said Malian farmer Mamadou Djan Keita. “But now, with improved agricultural practices, rice is no longer a luxury but a staple in our diet,” he added.
Keita attributes the changing fortunes of his community to the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), which has trained farmers on the best agricultural practices, including post-harvest management. He affectionately referred to SAA as “SASAKAFA,” meaning “eating well” in his local dialect, as a testament to the significant impact SAA’s intervention has had on his community’s food security.
The SAA supported the establishment of a Production and Post-Harvest Trading/Training Center (PHTC) in Siranikoto, which has been instrumental in uniting 10 primary cooperatives across different villages. This has significantly enhanced their operational efficiency in delivering the necessary support to communities, fostering sustainable agricultural practices. Keita is the president of the Center.
Keita attributes SAA’s hands-on training for bringing hope to thousands who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. He acknowledges the crucial role of the quality seeds introduced by SAA and commended the organization’s work in establishing community-based seed multiplication plots within his community. Such technologies, he said, have helped transform the quality of harvests in the region.
“We are steadily marching towards food self-sufficiency,” he said.
Other simple agricultural techniques such as practices like mulching, utilizing crop residues, compost production and use, and crop rotation have also been instrumental in enhancing soil fertility and yields.
Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in December 2023