Read caption Hawa Walet Halid and her children are happy with NRC's new cereal bank. Photo: Mahamadou Abdourhamane/NRC

Cereal banks strengthen food security in Mali

Mahamadou Abdourhamane|Published 26. Mar 2018
When her husband passed away in 2015, Hawa Walet Halid was left alone and unable to fully provide for herself and her children. Today, a cereal bank makes sure that the family has enough to eat.
Read caption Want to learn more about our efforts in Mali? Watch the video above or visit https://www.nrc.no/countries/africa/mali/

 

They live in the village Synah Ballah in Mali’s eastern region Gao. Since her husband’s death, she has struggled to afford food for her family. “I couldn’t meet the needs of my children such as feeding them, sending them to school and accessing health services,” she says. Now, our Mali team has opened a cereal bank in her village where families can buy grain at low cost.

High food prices

Today, Halid is able to put food on the table. The cereal bank has made it easier for her to buy food during the lean season, when grain prices skyrocket.

The cereal bank’s community warehouse makes grain available during the harvest period. It is set up to fund the annual restocking with grain sale proceeds.

“I couldn’t meet the needs of my children such as feeding them, sending them to school and accessing health services,”
Hawa Walet Halid

One of two warehouses

Seyna Bellah’s cereal bank is one of two warehouses that we have opened in eastern Mali. Thanks to funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, we’re able to provide food at low cost for communities at both the warehouse in Gao and the second cereal bank we opened in the village of Tassirist in Ménaka.

Both cereal banks store 21 tonnes of grain.

Agricultural training and village saving

As part of our operation at the grain bank in Ménaka, we offer agricultural production and processing trainings.

In our programme, we have also trained residents to create and lead village saving groups. The groups allow the residents, who have no access to regular banking, to save money and hand out loans.