African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services

FOSCAR in drive to promote AEAS services in Mali

During the year 2020, FOSCAR Mali country fora, has worked to establish and strengthen thematic working groups to promote AEAS services in the country. Thematic working groups were initiated in the context of the CAADP-XP4 program to strengthen and expand the Country Fora.

“The Country Fora has been able to put in place and strengthen thematic working groups and engage in precise activities to achieve concrete results with beneficiaries at grassroots,” Ibrahima Soumaoro, FOSCAR Mali focal person said”.

Four thematic working groups were operational within the CAADP-XP4 program during 2020 and they reached more than 100 000 beneficiaries. One of the TWG names REJIPAQAM has sought to ensure economic empowerment of women rice growers and rice parboilers in Mali.

FOSCAR Mali organized training and mentoring of women representing 15 cooperatives. FOSCAR Mali Experts empowered farmers through practical workshops, demonstrations, and using a participatory radio, video and social media program.

Another TWG REJGEO-SIG focused in using technologies such as drones and GIS in environment and land surveying and surveillance.

“The use of obsolete pesticide by ignorant farmers is a high risk for pollution in rural areas. FOSCAR Mali worked closely with government agents to sensitize farmers not to buy and use these products.”

FOSCAR Mali PPP TWG promoted with the Popular Health Research Center, the production of plants such as artemisia, moringa, to improve nutrition in the population.

The commitment and dynamism of the team has been a key factor in the success of FOSCAR Mali’s activities and the inclusive and participatory method used by Malian team. FOSCAR-Mali was involved with GIZ and Ministry of Agriculture as part of National Agricultural Advisory Strategy and the National Program of SRI (intensive rice culture technique) development. Many of our members who are organized in different clusters expected a lot from AFAAS and one of the challenge for us was that the budget for this year was too small, regarding the needs.

The COVID-19 impacted on the activities of FOSCAR as a result of lockdowns which meant that meetings were restricted to no more than 30 people unless there were special circumstances. FOSCAR-Mali with PROCASUR and its Rural Youths working group RJRFIER engaged emergency action plan to support rural youth to deal with Covid 19 Projet AGIR (“Approach to Innovative Risk Management” AGIR to Improve the marketing of agricultural products for young people Rural people facing COVID 19 in Mali).

The future plans are to retain current partners in the CF, engage in sustainable activities, equip thematic working groups and to influence AEAS professionalization, AEAS for Rural Youth and Women Agribusiness and AEAS National Strategy, National Rice Intensify System Program, ICTs in AEAS and other Agricultural and Climate Change policies in Mali.