"Feere diyara" (marketing has been good) for Sabati
Some members of Sabati, a cooperative that includes 1,852 women, who produce dry cereals and legumes in Zantiebougou, Mali.
They no longer fear the credit that makes it easier for them to buy seeds and fertilizer.
Collective marketing has been a major step forward in their lives.
“Before, we [individually] took our products to market, the purchasers paid quite low prices, and we did not earn very much,” says Mariam Doumbia, Sabati’s warehouse person.
The women are now trained in cooperative principles, accounting and collective marketing. They have mastered a variety of agricultural techniques and know how to promote their products to get better prices for them.
They no longer fear the credit that makes it easier for them to buy seeds and fertilizer. They created a marketing fund to buy and store members’ products allowing them to sell at the most favourable times and generate more revenue.
Today, these impressive women have a stable income and are sending all of their children to school, boys and girls alike. They have collectively financed a canteen that lets children from neighbouring villages study on full bellies.
This new economic power brings new influence. “Now we are being consulted on family decisions,” says Fatoumata Mariko, the cooperative’s treasurer. “And when there are public meetings on topics related to the village, I’m not afraid any longer of going, and I am not ashamed to take the floor in front of men.”
It is a sure bet that their leadership, and this new step toward gender equality, will transform the life of their community in a positive way. Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy prioritizes projects that empower women and girls.
Sabati is one of the cooperatives assisted by the Feere Diyara project, created by the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, the Union des producteurs agricoles, Développement International, and the Société de coopération pour le développement International, with Canada’s support.
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