Climate change and farmers in Mali

Aug 19, 2015 Posted by:  

Mali is an agricultural country in Western Africa. Its inhabitants increasingly experience the consequences of climate change. We encourage you to see a series of short videos in which farmers from Mali speak about their situation and various climate change adaptation strategies they adopt.

Tidiane Diarra, a young farmer from the Bouwèrè village, cultivates millet, sorghum, sesame and cowpeas. In the video he describes how the rainfall patterns in the region changed in the recent years and how this situation forced local farmers to turn to faster growing crop varieties. What helped farmers in the area to adapt to the changes was setting up a weather station in the village. As a result, they can better monitor and forecast rainfalls. Tidiane underlines also the importance of training for farmers which provides them with the appropriate knowledge and skills needed for the adaptation to the consequences of climate change. Farmers must learn, for example, about different seed varieties which are better suited to new conditions. Watch the video here.

Arouna Bayoko works for the non-governmental organization called AMEDD, which cooperates with local groups of farmers in Mali. In the video he describes how the organization helps local farmers adapt to climate change by testing and disseminating among them seed varieties more suitable for the new climate conditions. Together with farmers they also try to reduce deforestation through better regulated use of trees for firewood. Watch the video here.

Mahamane Diallo is a cattle farmer from the Bouwèrè village. In the video he describes how the increasing problems with rains reduce the grazing area and consequently local farmers are forced to change the feeding habits of their herds and to reduce their numbers. Nowadays, their cattle is allowed to feed also on the crop fields after the harvest and in the dry season they are fed mainly with stover. A big part of the herds is taken for grazing to neighbouring countries. In order to compensate at least partly for the losses of cattle, the villagers started to use water holes as fish ponds which gives them an additional source of food and income. Watch the video here.

Amadou Fane is both a farmer and a blacksmith in the Bouwéré village. In the video he explains how the changing environmental conditions forced him to adopt new farming methods. Among other things he started using manure and built a special seeder to utilize micro-dosing technique on his farm. This helped him optimize the use of fertilizers and increase yields. The seeder and other new agricultural techniques were needed because in the recent years there were big negative changes in soil fertility and farm output in the area. Watch the video here.

Bougouna Sogoba is the director of the local non-governmental organization AMEDD which promotes sustainable development in Mali. In the video he explains how his organization works to connect farmers with the outcomes of the research aimed at the improvement of food security. AMEDD tries to disseminate the use of suitable seed varieties as a means of the adaptation to climate change. Farmers in Mali are especially affected by the changes in the rainfall patterns, which have negative impact on yields and could lead to famine. One of the goals of AMEDD activities is facilitating local farmers' access to needed technologies and markets and enabling easier exchange of knowledge and information among them. Watch the video here.

The last video presents the work of the research station in the Cinzana village. Its staff selects different local varieties of cultivated crops, study them and afterwards gives them to farmers so that they could test their adaptability, productivity and resistance to various diseases and pests. The station also organizes trainings for farmers in micro-dosing of fertilizers. Watch the video here.

Source: CCAFS

Photo credit: Dominic Chavez / World Bank (Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Last Modified: Aug 20, 2015