My name is Assa Tapily. I am 42 years old. I am married with five children. I am a member of the Sotourou Group in the village of Dourou, commune of Dourou, district of Bandiagara in Mali.
I am a woman farmer. I derive most of my income from this activity. As production techniques, I’ve always used farmer practices I learned from my parents. I had no information on sustainable farming techniques for millet and the use of improved seeds, specifically for early varieties that adapt to climate change.
Under Pathways’s intervention in my village, the field agent provided assistance to my group including myself, from procurement of seeds to harvesting and bagging of productions. Trainings provided focused on seed soaking, micro dose, various technical routes, etc… Members of my group and a few of our husbands took the various theoretical and practical training s on the demonstration plots. Each one of us replicated the techniques learned in our individual plots and in some household plots.
Before learning these techniques, I produced only two and a half bags of millet from my plot of 0.40 hectare. With the application of the techniques learned, I was able to produce four bags on the same plot. I then sold two bags for CFA 32,000 to deal with some of my household expenses. The other two bags were used during the lean season in August to feed my family.
In addition to this support in agriculture, Pathways made a significant change in my household through household dialogues. Now, I have established dialogue in my household and my husband and I discuss and share decisions (children’s health, girls ‘education).
Increase in the income of my group members helped to increase contributions in our VSLA [village saving and loan association]. Before the project started, every woman was contributing CFA 60 per week. Now, this amount has increased up to CFA 210, which helped to increase the amount of loans to women from the VSLA Fund.
Ultimately, Pathways helped me to increase my food production to ensure my household food security and my income to deal with certain expenses. Thanks to the project, I have observed a significant change in my home through the introduction of dialogue between my husband and me; which brought harmony in the family.