Seed brings smiles of relief to people in Douzenta,

Seed kits bring smiles of relief to residents in the war-torn Douzenta region of Mali. Social unrest has disrupted distribution of food and seeds.

The ongoing war in Mali in has brought hardship and death to many people in the northern part of the country. Food insecurity in the region has been exacerbated by drought and a lack of funds to purchase food and seed for vegetable production. The situation is particularly severe in Douentza, an area located between Mopti and Hombori, where seed of staple crops is being consumed as food and vegetable seed is not available. With financial support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AVRDC Mali supplied war victims in the area with Disaster Relief Seed Kits containing seed of improved varieties of African eggplant, okra, amaranth and roselle. A total of 680 kits were distributed to 200 vulnerable households in 5 villages in Douentza. “The people were very happy to receive the seed,” said Vegetable Breeder Albert Rouamba. “Vegetable crops are now growing in the fields and their appearance augurs good harvests.” The vegetables will add diversity to local diets and reduce food shortages brought about by the war.