Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition (Forum FSN)

Albarka is a five-year USAID/BHA funded Resilience Food Security Activity implemented by a consortium led by Save the Children, three local implementing partners—ADICOM, GFORCE, and Tassaght—and two international technical partners—Conflict Management Consulting and VIAMO. Albarka operates in Northern and Central Mali, in the regions of Douentza, Bandiagara, Gao, and Tombouctou. Intra-community conflict, violence caused by armed groups, political instability, and the negative impact of climate change have caused deep poverty and vulnerabilities for people and communities who lack food security, livelihood opportunities, and access to basic services. Albarka’s goal is to improve the food security and resilience of communities impacted by conflict. Communities in Albarka’s implementation areas are particularly impacted by climate change and face the loss of biodiversity, scarcity of water resources, prolonged droughts, degraded soils, pests infestations, degeneration of local genetic resources, siltation of irrigation canals etc... 

Communities in Albarka’s implementation areas are particularly impacted by climate change and face the loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, and prolonged droughts which lead to the overexploitation of natural resources and reduction in biodiversity (flora and fauna).Biodiversity is key for food and nutrition security. In the context of Albarka’s implementation areas different users must collaborate for the conservation and sustainable exploitation of natural resources linked to food production. These include farmers, pastoralists, fisher people. Biodiversity is key to their livelihoods, access to safe and nutritious foods and the general health of their environment. In this context, Albarka focused on the promotion of crop diversification through market gardening, the production of Echinochloa Stagnina (bourgou) and tree planting.   

Market gardening activities led to the diversification of crops thanks to Albarka supporting the introduction of new plant species including orange-fleshed sweet potato, fruit trees and legumes in addition to the vegetables traditionally produced by farmers. Live hedges have also been planted (acacia radiana, ana cardium and lemon tree) to protect the plants in the market gardens. Farmers and communities started reported an increase in animals, insects and birds in and around the market gardens. The rehabilitated Bourgoutiere (Echinochloa Stagnina) not only provide livestock feed, but are an important feeding and breeding habitat for native fish and birds. Market gardens and the sale of bourgou have provided additional sources of income for participants. Albarka has also worked with diverse users (farmers, fishers, pastoralists) to ensure good governance and the fair and sustainable management of these natural resources.