Create new jobs for returning migrants through the valorization of Arabic gum

Three-quarters of Mali’s population lives in a rural environment and more than half of them live below the poverty line. The population is very young with half of Malians aged under 15. 

Moreover, in the last thirty years, Mali has experienced a 30 percent decrease in average rainfall and seasonal droughts have become more frequent and severe.

 As a result, overexploitation of forest resources and migration appears to be an easy way to fight poverty for most households.

The regions of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso are particularly affected by advanced land degradation and reduced vegetation cover due to the unsustainable use of land and climate change. In these regions, declining agricultural productivity coupled with widespread instability forms pushes many Malians towards irregular migration to support their families. Returned migrants often report a sense of shame and failure because of their return and the feeling of becoming an additional burden to their families.

In this context, the 3S project aims at creating jobs for the migrants that return to the three regions as well as for the youth that are planning to leave. The new jobs will be created in the gum arabic value chain and in the exploitation of non-timber forest products such as almonds, shea nuts, cashew nuts, zaban, etc. The project aims at creating 10.000 jobs by recovering 10.000 ha of degraded lands and planting trees to contribute to the objectives of the Great Green Wall.

Until the new planted trees generate enough income, a small monthly compensation will be provided monthly along with tenure agreements to encourage the youth to persist in land restoration activities. The project will be directly connected with the training activities on the site managed by IOM in Agadez.