Revolutionizing Farming in Mali: How Forest Gardening is Transforming Lives


"In Koulikoro, Mali, poverty and hunger are all too common. 56-year-old farmer Daouda Keita, like many others in the West African nation, struggled to provide for his family. But thanks to Trees for the Future (TREES), Keita and 248 other farmers from his community have found a new lease on life through agroforestry and regenerative farming practices.

 Forest Garden

Through the Forest Garden training program, farmers like Keita receive the training, seeds, and resources they need to establish Forest Gardens on their own land. By year four of the program, the average Forest Garden has 2,500 – 4,000 trees growing on it, providing food and a reliable income for the farmers and their families, while also benefiting the planet.

 Forest Garden

The tree planting not only helps to combat poverty and food insecurity, but also helps to fight against climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, preserving biodiversity, and conserving soil and water resources. This agroforestry approach also helps to mitigate the effects of desertification and promotes the conservation of natural resources.

 Farmer Harvesting Fruit

A 2022 study by TREES found that Forest Garden farmers and their families exceeded the global target for food security in just two years. And what isn’t consumed by the household is sold for a reliable income.

 Farmer at Picking Fruit

“Notwithstanding food security, this project opens up enormous economic opportunities in a landlocked area where nothing happens,” says Diakaridia Coulibaly, TREES senior technician in the area.

Family Holding Food

The farmers are in year two of the training program and will continue receiving support from TREES staff over the next two years. One of the best things about the program, according to Keita, is that it provides ongoing knowledge even after the project ends.

 Boy Watering Farm

Moreover, Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear is also doing their part in promoting sustainability by planting a tree for every pair of glasses they sold.

 Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear

“TREES saved us from an uncertain and hopeless life,” Keita says. ”This project has changed the life of our community and ensured a safer future for our children and for the planet.”

Based on Trees for the future blog article: A Malian Community Revitalized through Forest Gardening

Published January 23,2022 / Written By Maimouna Cisse & Lindsay Cobb

All Images are from

To read the full article from Tree's for the Future

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