Food & Work

Rooftop turf on our villa in Segou - I see rooftop farming...

In part because of my job as a farmers market manager and because of my more generalized goal of getting to know Mali as best I could in 12 days, I kept my eyes open for places where people were growing food. In Bamako, I saw urban lots that were being used as farmlets - small farm or large garden plots where families or neighborhoods grew food to eat and sell. In Segou, I saw strings of fenced garden plots along the Niger river's edge, running the length of the city's western to eastern edges. In Djenne, it was much the same, along the Bani river, but on a smaller scale. I was told by Madani that the women of the community organize and work these farms. My lingering questions are 
  1. why the women only?
  2. how is the distribution structured?
  3. is the food for consumption only by the families of the participating women?
  4. is it also for sale?
  5. if so how are the proceeds used?