This 2 page brief highlights lessons learned on connecting Village Economic and Social Associations to Microfinance institutions in...
Harande: Food Security in Mali
Harande: Food Security in Mali
Harande means “Food Security” in Peulh, a local language in Mali. Its goal is food security, but it goes beyond that. Harande helps communities build resilience and the skills they need to build lives that can withstand the frequent shocks in their lives. Funded by USAID's Office of Food for Peace, the project focuses on the Mopti region—an area in northern Mali that suffers from frequent drought and current conflict and instability.
To overcome these obstacles and the underlying causes of poverty and hunger, vulnerable families must be able to prepare for and adapt to climate change. They need to be able to respond effectively to natural, economic and social shocks such as conflict. Finally, they need to access critical resources including health care, education, financial and agricultural services. The Harande project addresses these issues through an integrated project design.
Harande aims to help 270,000 people living in poor families in the Mopti region achieve sustainable food, nutrition and income security by 2020. It has 5 key components to its integrated approach:
- Improving the nutritional status of women of childbearing age and children under 2,
- Diversifying and improving livelihoods for targeted participants (especially women and youth),
- Increasing resilience to climate change among participants in targeted communities,
- Reducing conflicts that restrict food and nutrition security outcomes in targeted communities, and
- Improving governance related to food, nutrition and income security.
- Distributed 82.5 tons of locally-produced fortified cereal—helping both women business owners and 1,890 families with hungry children.
- Built 25 new sources for clean water at the community level
- Distributed improved seeds to 4,836 people so they can grow millet, sorghum and cowpea in drought conditions.
- Gave 360 women 10kg each of seeds so that each can produce 200kg of shallots
- Set up 73 Village Savings and Loan Associations with 2,064 members who have saved $6,661.
- 83% of all program villages have established early warning systems.
- Reclaimed 11 hectares of land to grow animal feed and create a livestock food bank.
- Trained 1,770 community leaders to look for conflict early warning signs and act to prevent conflict.
Progress so far
Nutrition: Harande has reached over pregnant and lactating 8000 women with activities focusing on social and behavior change that will help families improve nutrition, especially for children and pregnant women. It has trained mother leaders who will share what they have learned about health and nutrition with other women in their communities. The project is also using Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to help communities improve the safety of their drinking water.
Livelihoods: Harande established 35 Farmer Field and Business Schools (FFBS) to promote climate-change adapted agriculture. In addition, Harande distributes inputs like drought-resistant seeds and stronger animals so they can improve their production. Harande also promotes non-agricultural livelihoods to increase incomes for youth and women. This has included identification and placement of 282 young people in apprenticeships with master craftsmen, and supporting local savings groups so families can have resources to start businesses and cope with shocks.
Resilience to Climate Change: Harande works with communities to get access to the weather information they need to plan for and respond to climate issues. The project built meteorological information systems in 119 villages, ensuring participants better information on up-coming weather events. 1,894 people in 40 villages participated in efforts to reclaim desert to plant gardens, grow animal feed, and improve water systems for livestock.
Reducing Conflict: Harande is reviving and establishing new land commissions to manage conflicts over resources. Currently 11 commune-based and 83 village-based commissions have been set in action.
Improved Governance: 250 village-based Community Development Committees (CDC) are currently training 2,888 community members (944 women) on the roles and responsibilities of CDC and on participatory planning. Studies in the region indicate that every $1 spent on participatory planning will reduce the cost of disasters by $4. These local groups are also consulting with district and local governments to improve services.