In Mali (Ségou Region), the entry theme of the PROFEIS (Promoting Farmer Experimentation and Innovation in the Sahel) programme was conservation of biodiversity, which has two sub-themes: (1) Biodiversity of sorghum and millet, which focus on farmer innovation related to developing adapted varieties, combating genetic erosion, variety conservation, endogenous diffusion of knowledge and exchange between farmers; (2) Domestication of natural forest species through innovation as regards germination of species, creating assets in the field through shortening of the growing cycle, maintenance of an appreciable rate of success and sustainable management.
Soil fertility is a cross-cutting theme, because it an essential condition for the success of innovation in conservation of biodiversity. Indeed, high yields of food crops and normal development of natural forest tree species in the field are strongly dependent on soil fertility. This is why the programme encourages farmer experimentation that associates practical conservation of biodiversity with innovations aimed at improving soil fertility.
Now the programme has opened up to other themes judged relevant in Mali, looking at both technical and socio-organisational innovation.
PROFEIS-Mali is funded by Misereor.
For documentation from PROFEIS-Mali, see http://profeismali.com