In Mali’s richest region, Sikasso, malnutrition is as high as in the country’s barren north, due in large part to concentration on cash crop, export-oriented production in the rich region

by IRIN News

One third of children in Sikasso are underweight for their age, and for acute malnutrition, the rate in Sikasso was 16 percent, according to the most recent government survey. Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN

Sikasso is one of Mali’s most fertile regions, but under-five malnutrition is as high here as in the country’s barren north, according to government health data.Health workers and agricultural experts explain the paradox as a combination of a lack of nutritional awareness, and the concentration on export-oriented cash crop production.