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Listen, think and act: Radio broadcasting to promote farmers’ participation in Mali’s land policy

By: Mamadou Goïta, Mohamed Coulibaly

This report produced by the Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development in Africa (IRPAD) in conjunction with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) documents an IRPAD-led initiative to effectively inform farmers in two provinces of Mali of their land and natural resource rights. IRPAD, in collaboration with existing farmers’ organizations, produced and then broadcasted through rural radio stations a radio programme in the national language of Bambara explaining relevant provisions of the Agricultural Orientation Law (LOA), a progressive legal framework promoting family farming and sustainable agriculture. Training sessions also sparked debate within communities, raised awareness, and strengthened capacity. Despite the relatively short timespan of the project, positive results were reported as many enthusiastic farmers and communities were empowered to lodge claims based on the LOA to assert their land and natural resource rights. IRPAD’s initiative is an example of an innovative tool to bridge the gap between legislation and participatory implementation.

Keywords: National land legislation, public awareness, customary land rights, family farming.