Agriculture and Food Security
Convinced that the development of sustainable methods of food production remains the safest alternative to eradicate hunger and improve livelihoods, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) strived to alleviate the threats to agriculture and food security and mitigate the effects of climate change. We geared interventions towards increasing household incomes by:
- improving the productivity of farmers through training;
- increasing access to inputs;
- the introduction of new seed varieties which are better suited to the desert climate;
- introducing innovative farming techniques;
- supporting farmers to take their goods to market;
- teaching farming as a business;
- helping farmers to add value to their harvests so they can sell for more; and
- enabling farmers to market their harvests to wholesalers and retailers.
Over 3,000 farmers received training in improved rice production and the use of quality seeds.
The team also worked with cooperatives and farmer associations to design their business plans. AKF collaborated with the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) to help farmers and local communities access microfinancing to purchase certified, improved seeds and fertiliser, grow their small businesses and add value to their production. In total, AKDN worked with over 43,000 farmers in the region.
The Food for Progress III project increased agricultural productivity by:
- developing infrastructure for rice and market gardening;
- training producers in improved techniques and management; and
- increasing trade in agricultural products through post-harvest techniques, and by strengthening grain value chains and market linkages.
Another programme popularised improved agroforestry practices to improve livelihoods and the marketing of forest products with high nutritional and economic value.
We worked to increase sorghum and millet production, productivity and profitability through improved technologies, links with input suppliers and value chain development. Over 10,500 farmers were trained in improved varieties and production of millet and sorghum.
We helped improve ownership of new groundnut production technologies, involving improved varieties and crop management, large-scale seed marketing and small-scale processing.
We helped strengthen resilience to nutritional insecurity and economic shocks in a project which gave money to the poorest 189 households in the commune of Fakala/Djenné.
Women play a key role in sustainable social development. They are the main growers of vegetables. When they have access to more vegetables year-round and are able to make better nutrition decisions, the result can be healthier children who are ready to learn. Therefore this project focused not only on cash crops that contribute to household income, but also crops that contributed to the household diet. The project helped women gardeners increase their crops’ productivity with better seed varieties, and boost their incomes by organising cooperatives and using market information to sell at higher prices. More than 4,000 women were trained in new vegetable production techniques.
The health programme worked with close to 450,000 beneficiaries in 27 communes in the region, improving physical and financial access to health care. This included the creation or rehabilitation of rural maternity centres with updated equipment, stocks of medicines and adequate human resources; improving drinking water and sanitation facilities; and encouraging better nutritional practices.
In the field of education, activities focused on:
- improving access to quality educational services;
- improving school enrollment rates;
- enhancing reading skills;
- training in governance and management of schools;
- production of textbooks and reading tools;
- improved infrastructure; and
- community participation.
To contribute to the emergence of a strong and vibrant civil society and local development in the Mopti region, the Mopti Coordinated Area Development Programme supported the creation and strengthening of village organisations, school management committees, farmers' groups and community health committees. Encouraging community governance, it strengthened the capacities of organisations, and helped to develop improved collaboration between the municipal authorities and civil society organisations.
The Mopti Area Development Programme was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada, the European Union, the Agence Française de Développement and the Orange Foundation.