After two years of drought and poor harvests, food insecurity was widespread across many parts of Mali in 2013. In addition, conflict in the north – which has forced many people to flee their homes – has increased the strain on already struggling host communities.
Many displaced families have headed to the Mopti region, where Islamic Relief has empowered communities to better meet their food needs.
Working with local people, we developed 11 vegetable gardens in 2013. Seeds, fertiliser and equipment were provided, as well as technical support. We installed solar-powered irrigation systems, which increased efficiency and cut the time needed to water crops.
We positioned women as decision-makers, by training females to manage the two hectare gardens. Around 1,100 women participated in the project, which provided them with food for their family and an income from selling surplus produce.
Already, the average income for each woman has increased by 10 per cent – and the producers are working to expand their gardens.