The Tiby cluster is located in the southern region of Segou, one of the poorest areas in Mali. Tiby has a long dry season of 9 to 11 months and the cluster only receives about 250-500 millimeters of rain per year. Staple crops are rain-fed sorghum and millet cereals.
The sporadic, unreliable rainfall contributes to high levels of food insecurity. Child mortality rate is extremely high, due in large part to malaria which is endemic in the region. The combined effects of high human and animal population, exploitation of natural resources (foods, fuel, fodder, shelter, etc), and unfavorable climatic conditions have put the soils under unprecedented pressure. Naturally poor, they have been further impoverished through nutrient extraction. The vegetative cover has seriously declined since the early 1970s. Factors such as lack of water and labor for dry-season composting, inadequate market and transportation facilities, discrepancies between the price of fertilizers and that of cereal crops and the general breakdown of the traditional farming systems have contributed to environmental degradation and decreased agricultural productivity in Segou.
- Millet yields doubled thanks to micro-doze fertilizer technology, and drip irrigation was introduced to more than 1,300 farmers.
- Thirteen vegetable gardens, benefiting nearly 2,800 women, were rehabilitated, boosting production and increasing income.
- In 2008, construction of two clinics was also completed, bringing the total in the cluster to six, and thus meeting the Health Ministry’s standards.
- Almost 70km of roads have been enhanced and water pipes have been installed in several parts of the cluster.
- The SharedSolar system for delivering solar electricity to remote areas where grid extension is difficult was installed in Tiby.