Over the past two years, the Common Pastures project has contributed improved goats and sheep to cooperatives that met flock upgrading goals, plus ongoing training and support. One of these cooperatives is in Bougouni, located 150km southeast of the capital city of Bamako.
In November 2017, Common Pastures Project Director Bara Kassambara visited Bougouni to follow up with activities and keep the program alive. Together with Yacouba Diarra, the president of Bougouni cooperative, they visited Toula, Solla Bougouda and Bougouni city.
Kassambara says: “According to Yacouba, to date, the breeding program is progressing well despite some animal death noted sometimes. Roughly, offsprings from improved breed are noted : 60 in Solla Bougouda, 100 in Toula, 50 in Yorola Soblala and 100 in Bougouni. In all areas visited farmers are very happy regarding impacts being seen slowly. During meeting with farmers, I re-explain the breeding program process and advise them to take care of breeding issues through collaboration within cooperatives and by changing sire (from another coop or replacing the first one when being old).”
Also, in the Bougouni areas, many producers are now discovering the benefit of forage trees. Yacouba and other farmers are contributing to the dissemination of seeds. The best example is registered in Toula. Some leucaena did not survive termites and proved to be very sensitive to drought. Volunteer farmers were advised to plant, protect, water and maintain 6 plants (2 of each) close to houses to have forage and seeds and then continue planting a few number of plants each year.