The Malian government and a U.N. agency plan to try to revive farming in the desert northern region, which has been badly hit by drought and conflict, and have pledged $5 million for the first phase of the scheme, U.N. officials said.
The farm support program will focus on the farms and livestock of 33,000 families affected by fighting in northern Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu regions, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official Etienne Juvanon Du Vachat said.
The money will be used to pay for animal feed, seeds, technical advice on desert farming and veterinary services, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation late on Wednesday.
“It will support vulnerable households affected by various shocks – from extreme climate to conflict and insecurity,” he said.
The scheme is part of a broader $100 million recovery project for Mali, backed by the World Bank.
Three quarters of Malians depend on agriculture for their living, the World Food Programme reported last month.
Nearly two million people in the country have difficulty feeding themselves and their families.
“Our goal is to feed 16 million Malians,” Rural Development Minister Bokary Treta said in a statement, referring to the country’s whole population.
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