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Photo Blog: West African Learning Exchange

October 2016

From July 25 to July 30, 2016, Grassroots International grantees We Are the Solution (WAS) and the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations of Mali (CNOP-Mali) gathered together in Bamako for a farmer-to-farmer learning exchange funded by Grassroots International. Composed of 11 federations of farmers’ organizations representing the interests of nearly 2.5 million farmers and peasants, CNOP-Mali has led the struggle against land grabbing and for the rights of small farmers in Mali and West Africa. CNOP-Mali’s mission is to strengthen the structure of farming organizations and build members capacity to influence agricultural policy. In 2007 CNOP-Mali hosted the first global forum on food sovereignty in Nyeleni, Mali, and in 2014 hosted the international agroecology forum in Nyeleni. CNOP-Mali is a member of Via Campesina.

The learning exchange was an opportunity for WAS to learn the various ways in which CNOP-Mali is putting agroecology into practice across Mali through selected site visits, including CNOP-Mali’s Agroecoolgy Training Center, Nyeleni. Through these site visits and discussions, WAS leaders shared their experience with agroecological farming and what it means to lead a rural women’s campaign for food sovereignty in West Africa. As a result of this learning exchange, both WAS and CNOP-Mali are looking forward to other opportunities for collaboration and mutual learning in Mali and the region.

Here are some highlights from the learning exchange:

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