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Agricultural revolution in Mali: CNOP sheds light on the successes and challenges of the PARFAO project

16:07 29 August in News

August 23, 2023, marked a pivotal moment in Mali’s agricultural transformation. The National Coordination of Farmers’ Organizations of Mali (CNOP) hosted a national workshop devoted to presenting the self-assessment results of the PARFAO project (Support Program for the Resilience of Women and Western Farmers). The event gathered twenty participants from diverse cooperatives and institutions, including the Ministry of Women, Children, and Family, and the Austrian Cooperation, within CNOP’s conference room.

The main objective of the workshop was to provide an introspective look at the PARFAO project from the farmers’ perspective, to identify its accomplishments, its challenges, and its future outlook. This exercise was all the more crucial as the project encompasses multiple aspects of rural life, including women’s empowerment, agricultural development, and community resilience.

One of the primary tasks of the workshop was to analyze the initial conclusions derived from data collected from beneficiaries. This analysis revealed that the project has had a measurably positive impact, particularly among women. Women’s cooperatives, such as those from Selingue or Kabala, have benefited from training, resources, and tools that have helped enhance their autonomy and productivity.

However, the project’s effectiveness for women’s colleges was scrutinized in-depth, assessing its relevance, internal and external coherence, efficacy, and conditions for its sustainability. While the evaluation is largely positive, some areas require specific attention to ensure the sustainability of the achievements. For example, questions remain regarding the project’s alignment with the long-term ambitions of women and the sustainability mechanisms after the project ends.

Furthermore, the workshop served as a platform to highlight experiences worth capitalizing upon. The diversity of participants offered an ideal opportunity to share successes and best practices that could be replicated in other contexts. Among the weaknesses and shortcomings identified, the lack of ongoing monitoring and evaluation was cited as a major concern, as were challenges related to the accessibility of resources for the most remote communities.

The most promising aspect of the workshop was the initiation of dialogue with public authorities concerning women’s resilience. This opened up the path for future collaboration and a synergy of efforts to strengthen the resilience of rural communities, particularly in the context of climate change.

In summary, the workshop organized by CNOP was a significant milestone for the PARFAO project. It not only provided an evaluation of the journey so far but also laid out the road ahead. Stakeholders are now better equipped to adjust, improve, and hopefully extend this ambitious project to touch even more lives across Mali. It is clear that the PARFAO project has the potential to revolutionize Mali’s agricultural sector by supporting women’s empowerment, fostering agricultural development, and strengthening community resilience. With ongoing commitment from all stakeholders, it is possible to overcome the identified challenges and maximize the project’s positive impact on Malian society.

Fatimata KONE

Communication and Knowledge Management Officer


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