Mali’s economy relies heavily on agricultural practices, which has come with a cost. Desertification caused by drought and deforestation is slowly converting fertile land into sandy barren land masses. The degradation of Sahelian rural areas has worsened in recent decades which threaten the local population and their agriculture. Climate change further intensifies the desertification process by lowering soil humidity and increasing evaporation - Yultimately increasing the prevalence of droughts.
Since April 2017, World Renew has been working with ODES in implementing the Bocage method in the Bora region in Southern Mali. Farmland in this area is not very productive and crop yields are barely enough to meet the area’s food demand. Along with the introduction to ploughs and machines, more deforestation occurs making the land more susceptible to erosion. Food security will be a problem in the area unless farming practices change soon.
The Bocage method is designed to do just that. In this method, participating farmers create a perimeter of trees and hedges around several hectares of land which include individually owned plots and common grounds. The common areas have features such as ponds, canals, and hedges to mitigate soil erosion, encourage water absorption, provide a firebreak, and maintain biodiversity in this extremely fragile environment.
World Renew and ODES look forward to sharing these methods with 108 farmer participants (two from each of the 54 participating households) including physical features of the Bocage system that mitigate risk from wind erosion, fire, flooding and animal grazing. The participant households will contribute labor to construct ponds, stone bunds, trenches, living hedgerows, half-moons, banquettes, firewalls, and seepage embankments. The landscape will be converted into one where trees, crop cultivation and livestock co-exist in balance.
Please prayerfully consider supporting World Renew’s response in Mali with your prayers and financial gifts.