Green Revolution in Mali: The Triumph of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Management and Valorization by Women

Green Revolution in Mali: The Triumph of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Management and Valorization by Women

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In our weekly feature “Family Farming Gems of the Week”, we highlight a real gem of sustainable development and women empowerment in Mali.

In the heart of the Sikasso region, within the rural municipality of Farakala, a remarkable transformation is underway, thanks to an initiative focused on the management and valorization of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP). It is here that the women of Farakala have embraced a new era of prosperity and empowerment.

They have developed activities around the production of soumbala, a typically West African product made from néré seeds, and this initiative has led to an array of impressive changes within the Union of Women of Farakala. Entrepreneurial spirit has been stirred, contributions to household expenses have increased, and active participation in communal management and resource protection has been encouraged.

These advances have also led to an increased awareness of the importance of NTFPs, not just locally, but across Mali. NTFPs have found their place in the economic, social, and cultural development of the municipality and have even been the subject of a national promotion and valorization strategy put in place by the State in 2016.

The success of this initiative relies heavily on a strong partnership with various support structures, including APROFEM, IFDC, AOPP, Mali FOLK Center, APLF, the Mayor’s Office, and several others, who have provided support in terms of infrastructure, capacity building, and environmental protection.

Despite the challenges that remain, such as the need to improve drying and grinding infrastructure, increase working capital, and access credit suitable for small businesses, the resilience and dynamism of the women of Farakala are undeniable.

A poignant example is that of Fanta Diamountene, President of the Union Communale des Femmes de Farakala, who has successfully transformed her néré fruit collecting activity into a profitable soumbala production business.

The management and valorization of NTFPs by the women of Farakala is a story of resilience, empowerment, and environmental respect. It’s a powerful demonstration of women’s potential to be change agents within their communities. And above all, it’s proof that when women succeed, we all succeed.

To learn more about this remarkable success, we invite you to download the capitalization document on the Knowledge Management Platform of the Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA) at

Discover how these Malian women have transformed their community through the management and valorization of NTFPs.

Fatimata KONE

Communication and Knowledge Management officer