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Peer-Review Record

Perceptions on Sack Gardening in Rural Areas: The Case of Vegetable Stakeholders in Koutiala and Bougouni, Mali

Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14896;
by Benoit Govoeyi 1,*, Jean-Baptiste De La Salle Tignégré 2, Felix Badolo 1, Paul Alhassan Zaato 3, Karamoko Sanogo 1 and Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu 1
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 3:
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14896;
Submission received: 19 September 2022 / Revised: 15 October 2022 / Accepted: 28 October 2022 / Published: 11 November 2022

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The paper titled “Perceptions on sack gardening in rural areas: the case of vegetable stakeholders in Koutiala and Bougouni, Mali” describes the use of sack gardening in rural areas for overcome different problem related to health and land. The work is very interesting and is well written. I recommend the publication in “Sustainability” after 3 revisions listed below:

-       1) Line 180: please separate the word “areasmay” in “areas may”

-       2) Table 1 note. Please uniform the note under Table 1 with the other notes under Table 2, 3 and 4.

       3) Line 437: Please complete the sentence “as mentioned by…….”

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

Dear authors,

The abstract states the importance of the balanced diet and the nutritional déficit in Africa and the high importance of the innovations in agricultural production. My recommendation is to rewrite this abstract, and after the first sentence, insert the objective of the work and the sub-objectives. In the same way, the synthesized result does not appear in this abstract. 

The abstract needs to be improved, including motivation, objectives, theoretical framework, methodology, and main results, briefly and concisely. In the abstract, you should summarise the conclusions of your work, otherwise, it is more like the conclusion section. It does not appear that your work is new in the scientific literature. You should clarify what scientific gap your research covers. It should be coherently structured in a single paragraph.

In the introduction section, you can try to answer some points of interest. 1. A practical introduction answers three questions: a. Who cares? What is the topic or research question, and why is it exciting and important in theory and practice? b. What do we know, what don't we know, and so what? What central, unaddressed puzzle, controversy, or paradox does this study address, and why does it need to be addressed? c. What will we learn? How does your study fundamentally change, challenge, or advance scholars' understanding?

In the introduction, you include part of the theoretical framework and methodology. In 

Theoretical framework

In your study, you do not try to develop a theoretical background, and your study’s conceptual model is not discussed. You do not have a theoretical framework that is related to helping improve innovation in agriculture. It would help if you searched the very good literature on developing new procedures in different sectors so that you can find a suitable model related to your findings and then develop and discuss the propositions of your research model. We suggest that you incorporate it into your study using a bibliography, e.g.


1. Andati, P., Majiwa, E., Ngigi, M., Mbeche, R., & Ateka, J. (2022). Determinants of Adoption of Climate Smart Agricultural Technologies among Potato Farmers in Kenya: Does entrepreneurial orientation play a role?. Sustainable Technology and Entrepreneurship, 100017.

2. Han, Z., Huang, Q., Huang, S., Leng, G., Bai, Q., Liang, H., ... & Fang, W. (2021). Spatial-temporal dynamics of agricultural drought in the Loess Plateau under a changing environment: Characteristics and potential influencing factors. Agricultural Water Management, 244, 106540.

3. Martínez, J. M. G., Puertas, R., Martín, J. M. M., & Ribeiro-Soriano, D. (2022). Digitalization, innovation and environmental policies aimed at achieving sustainable production. Sustainable Production and Consumption32, 92-100.

4. Shin, J., Kim, Y. J., Jung, S., & Kim, C. (2022). Product and service innovation: Comparison between performance and efficiency. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge7(3), 100191.




It should also raise the status quo of the situation: Why should the efficiency impact of innovations in Mali be promoted and analyzed?


In the Discussion section, you include Methodology, and it is not recommended. I suggest including it in the methodology section


This part is fragile. My suggestion is to link the discussion and conclusion sections. As your findings are interesting, you can suggest a conceptual model based on them. This conceptual model can be tested in future research. However, you can at least discuss and develop some propositions based on the relationships of your conceptual model. This section will need to be expanded with the limitations of this work and future lines of research with more details that you have presented. Finally, it could be interesting to highlight the practical significance for organizational members of this study and reference policy prescriptions derived from this analysis, as well as the implications for future research. I will encourage the authors to expand the agenda for future research.

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

The manuscript focuses on assessing the perception of farm households on sack gardening technology. Nevertheless, at least three different side objectives are addressed and discussed in the manuscript; namely: the capability of adopting a new agricultural practice (sack gardening); the comparison between men and women in using sack gardening; the Q method as a suitable tool for analyzing social perceptions.

This diversity of partial outcomes and their corresponding tables, and figures make it rather fuzzy to evaluate the academic value of the manuscript.

In my opinion, the focus is on assessing the challenges of how a developing community is able to adopt a new productive system (sack gardening) as a complement to their daily dietary input. The conclusions are written along that line. If so, the outcomes are enough to demonstrate that the nine villages studied have adopted the method. In addition, the outcomes revealed that women are more immersed in this adoption method. The reasons are somehow speculations such as the idea that sack gardening turned out to be using less water and less heavy metals and so for.

I urge the authors to really focus the whole attention on the core objective, avoid comparisons and select the relevant tables (in my opinion Table A2 only) and figures (in my opinion figure 2 only).


I must admit that I enjoy reading the manuscript, that I have learned about Q Method, and that the manuscript contains original and relevant information for the audience interested in sustainability.

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Many thanks to the authors for the new manuscript, which reflects the suggestions for improving the work presented.



Kind regards.

Reviewer 3 Report

The revised version focuses much better and helps to draw the reader's attention. I, still considered that discussions and conclusions might be more straightforward. 

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