Date of this Version
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; INTSORMIL, October 29, 2008.
Dr. John Yohe, Program Director of the “Sorghum, Millet and other Grains Collaborative Research Support Program” (INTSORMIL) announces receipt from the USAID Mission in Mali, West Africa, of a $5 million grant to expand the activities of the current project “Transfer of Sorghum, Millet Production, Processing and Marketing Technologies in Mali.” Subsistence and resource poor farmers in West Africa are dependent on sorghum and millet as they serve as basic human foods and livestock feed. There continues to be a shortage of sorghum and millet grain in Mali, especially in the north. Mali’s ‘Hungry Season’ has been described as “that period in August and September when this year’s millet is ripening, last year’s has run out and hunger grips most families. At that time there is not enough grain for three meals a day. If one day there is breakfast, there may only be dinner the next.”
The Mali/USAID funded Project is designed to significantly expand the existing project, especially into the northern areas of Mali (Tombouctou etc.) where food insecurity is a severe problem for the small scale farmers who depend on sorghum and millet for their daily diet. The expanded project will rapidly move sorghum and millet production technologies onto farmers’ fields, link farmers’ organizations to food and feed processors and commercialize processing technologies so as to enhance markets. The additional funds will allow INTSORMIL to significantly increase its impact in Mali by (1) expanding to new sites with more concentration in the poorer northern Tombouctou region, (2) upscale the research, (3) upscale the technology transfer component and (4) develop institutional capacity by adding a training component (academic and short term) to the current Cooperative Agreement.