Ba Issa Traore, is a market gardener in the city of San, located 437 km northwest of Bamako (capital of Mali) near the Segou region. A region in which the WAAPP introduced three varieties of high yield rainy season tomato, pest-resistant. Improved crop techniques that have enabled farmers to improve their yields through crop harvesting throughout the year.
Before, Ba Issa Traore as many other farmers of the locality were unaware of improved techniques on producing tomato during rainy season. The tomato was cultivated only during dry season, often in swamps. Most planting tests during rainy season have always resulted in the deterioration of over three quarters of crops given the high vulnerability of tomatoes to pest infections. The production was always insufficient and the community was facing a severe shortage of tomato.
The few tomatoes available was poor in terms of quality and was selling at a price not always accessible to the average consumer. Yet the tomato is a product of mass consumption, present in all culinary preparations in Mali.
For more than 3 years now, farmers from San are living comfortably from the exclusive tomato production through the introduction of three (03) improved varieties in Mali developed by the Centre of Specialization on Fruits and Vegetables in Burkina Faso under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).
The new varieties have helped to ensure a constant supply of tomato to markets and increase the income of market gardeners.
"I grow my tomatoes on a land of 600m2. After each harvest I make a profit of 35,000 f CFA (75 US dollars) or even more. During the production cycle I can harvest from 10 to 12 times "says Ba Issa Traore. With the improved techniques introduced by WAAPP, Ba Issa Traore and his community are fully prepared to face the lean season that correspond to times when the previous harvest is depleted while new crop is still growing. "The improved tomato allows me to replenish food supplies such as rice and millet to feed my family during the lean season," says the market gardener