Le Korsa runs agricultural development programs in Sinthian, Dialico, and Fass, helping women in these rural villages grow vegetables year-round to increase their food security and income.
Abib Dieye, Le Korsa’s Coordinator of Agricultural Projects, oversees the program from Sinthian. Augustin Diouf, the Assistant Coordinator of Agricultural Projects, provides support, along with Thread’s General Manager Moussa Sene, Thread’s Assistant Manager Mamadou Kanté, and Director of Agricultural Programs Robbie Smith.
To make these agricultural programs viable in Tambacounda’s harsh climate, Le Korsa funded the installation of bore-wells outfitted with solar-powered pumps in each village, which provide the women with year-round access to water. This makes continuous agriculture possible, which in the past had been unthinkable to the women. During Tambacounda’s long dry season— from October to May, temperatures spike to over 100 degrees and no rain falls—the villagers did not grow crops. The wells have thus been transformative, so much so that, in Sinthian, people no longer refer to the dry season as the “hunger season” because they can now grow food during that period.
Simultaneous with the installation of the wells, Le Korsa helped the women in each village acquire land for a community farm, then organize themselves into a labor collective to work and manage the land. These collectives are entirely self-governing, pool their funds, and enforce their own accountability and absentee policies. Within the collectives are smaller sub-groups, each of which has its own group leader.
We provide ongoing guidance and training to the women in a range of agricultural techniques, including the sizing of garden beds; proper plant spacing; proper watering techniques; transitioning plants from a nursery to a field; pest control; and fertilization and compost methods. We help them grow crops that are part of the local diet or are common cash crops, such as onion, peppers, eggplant, bitter eggplant, okra, peanuts, and tomatoes. This ensures that the women have both food and a source of income.
Le Korsa continues to work with the women in all three villages to maintain and expand the community farms. We also introduce new techniques and test new crop varieties, which is essential to combating the effects of climate change.