Ba Issa Traore is a market gardener in San, a city located about 437 km northwest of Mali’s capital, Bamako. Here, the WAAPP introduced three varieties of high yield and pest-resistant rainy season tomato. WAAPP also provided improved crop techniques. Combined, they have enabled farmers to improve their yields as they can now cultivate, harvest and sale year-round.
Before, Traore was unaware of these improved techniques. Similarly, many farmers near the Segou region were not familiar with this approach. Traditionally, tomatoes were cultivated only during the dry season, often in swampy areas. Most planting tests during rainy season often resulted in the deterioration of over three-quarters of crops given the high vulnerability of plants to pest infections. This regularly led to shortages of tomatoes in the region.
But since the introduction of three improved varieties initially developed in Burkina Faso, farmers in San have seen their fortunes turn around.
There is now a steady and regular supply of high-quality tomatoes in the local and national market.
« I grow my tomatoes on about 600 meters square. After each harvest, I make a profit of 35,000 f CFA (75 US dollars) or even more. During the production cycle I can harvest about ten to twelve times, » says Traore.
With the improved techniques introduced by WAAPP, Traore and his community are fully prepared to face the lean season that corresponds to times when the previous harvest is depleted while the new crop is still growing. « The improved tomato allows me to replenish food supplies such as rice and millet to feed my family during the lean season, »says the market gardener.