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Sylla Women's Organic Market Garden Project Extension.
The extension year to this four-year project is well under way. Having so successfully worked with the 312 members of the Sylla Women's Cooperative in developing their 9 hectare organic market garden site and demonstrating that through good management and reducing input costs intensive, village-based agriculture can be economical, we opted for a further year in order to bring the results of the project to a wider audience. Already the project was causing something of a stir locally, being covered on radio and visited by local MPs; now this diffusion of results is being spread wider and more formally with the inclusion of the Senegalese Agricultural Extension Services who are participating in various activities. Forty-one people representing 8 cooperatives have so far been trained in agronomic methods such as composting and the production of natural pesticides; many site visits have been organised, and a large-scale in-field seminar to which all from the region are invited is planned for later this year. Meanwhile, on the Sylla 9 hectare site the fruit tree plantation and associated hot-season crops as well as the forest belt are thriving, producing fruit and timber for sale, and the women cooperative members report sustained increased family incomes of about 30% from their vegetable plots. Anecdotal evidence of the beneficial effects of these is everywhere. Djenaba Mamadou, above, says she expects to have spare cash in her pocket next year as a result in her participation in the Sylla fifth year for the first time in her life!