The importance of trees in Northern Mali's Sahelian region cannot be underestimated. Much of the work NEF does there centers around soil and water conservation, and the effective replanting and use of trees to this effects has been an important focus on helping the farmers of Mali conserve their precious resources and in some cases, even reclaim the desert.
Drissa Kassamba is a farmer from Tété, in the Mopti area. His focus is on growing cereal grains for his village and he's done it his whole life, using the techniques taught to him by his parents. When NEF came, they not only taught him how to conserve his water use and about the benefits of planting trees, they also taught him the French language, the lingua franca for that area of the country.
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