If we want to face our huge global challenges, it’s important to open up spaces for joint thinking and acting that enable to meet and cooperate with people based on curiosity, interest and solidarity as well as a mindful respect for living material, our environment and society.

Many structures and conditions in the agricultural sector are problematic in Europe – but they are felt most severely in countries of the Global South. Tristan Toé grew up in Mali and experienced how these structures and conditions affect people and nature. Not only are there no organic seeds in Mali, the seeds available are mostly full of chemicals, seeds produced by European companies. All of this chemistry is destroying all life in the soil of the already arid Sahel zone, and farmers are becoming increasingly dependent on the corporations that produce these seeds and the fertilizers and pesticides that go with them.

Since many of Tristan’s approaches, practices and experiments on his organic farm in Austria are aimed at the conditions in Mali, his ambition is also to bring his knowledge back to his home country, finding solutions for the restoration and preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity as well as the safeguarding of the cultural heritage in Mali.

That is why we started our project in Mali. Tristan trained people on Aboubakar’s indigo farm in permaculture and showed them how to make the earth fertile again in order to support the thriving of the farm and the local community. The amazing thing is that within a few days, we could find living beings and small earthworms again in a soil that was dry, hard and barren.

What we’re doing here in Mali might just be acupuncture, but I believe if we start doing acupuncture in different parts of the world, it can have an impact on our world as well.

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