Water management and water harvesting: how to overcome constraints in community gardening in semi-arid Mali
|Published in:||Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference "Economic Science for Rural Development”|
|Year of Publication:||2013|
|Place of Publication:||Jelgava|
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|Publication Type:||Article, Chapter, etc., Electronic|
Malnutrition, i.e. the undersupply of micro-nutrients, is a common phenomenon in the villages of West African Mali. Community gardening can help to overcome the gap between supply of and requirements for micro-nutrients. In addition to its effect on nutrition, community gardening supports the pro-poor orientation of economic growth, and has a potentially positive effect on human capital formation, communal coherence, and women’s empowerment. Water supply, however, is a major bottleneck for gardening in the Sahel zone. Based on a field survey using a “rapid rural appraisal”-inspired research method, the paper develops the argument for a de-linking of irrigation from deep wells (water mining) and argues in favour of a combination of water harvesting techniques and substantial improvements of the gardens’ micro-climate in a low external input yet technically appropriately sophisticated cultivation. The paper furthermore discusses traditional forms of social organisation and how to make them instrumental in supporting the new system.