It all begins with food.
Food, Land, and Women in West Africa
The abundance of food, or its lack, now plays a big role in how often the people of Mali, Senegal and other nations in West Africa gather to eat and how much opportunity there is for families to come together and share their stories. Keeping this connection between family members thriving is a big part of Agile International’s mission. By working to increase the abundance of food, Agile International is helping to keep family bonds strong, culture and history alive.
The concept of land “ownership” is an idea not native to Africa. People traditionally farmed the lands they occupied, and customarily a father’s land would be split up among his male heirs. This traditional concept of land tenancy is now crashing into the 21st century as multinational groups seek to purchase Malian land for giant agribusiness operations wanting to produce food for export. Agile International sees a remedy to this situation by purchasing land and holding clear title, then assigning that land to willing farmers to use as their own.
Women make up the vast majority of agricultural workers in the region. While they are the muscle behind food production, cultural rules and traditions prevent them from having land under their control. Agile International has a new model in mind where women will have control of plots of land purchased by Agile for women farmers who will be the beneficiaries of the food they harvest and the profits of their surplus.