Creating prospects in Mali through sustainable agriculture

Better harvest yields are enabling Mali’s farmers to improve their income and thus help stabilise the country’s economy.

The West African country of Mali is one of the poorest in the world. Half of its rural population lives below the poverty level and is underfed or malnourished. Agriculture is thus vital for Mali as it provides food security and income for large segments of the population. However, climate change, population growth and the security situation pose a threat to agricultural production.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working in Mali primarily on behalf of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with additional funding from the European Union. Within this framework, GIZ is promoting small-scale irrigation to secure good harvests for farmers even in years with low rainfall.

Specially designed basic and further training is helping farmers harness the economic potential of small-scale irrigated agriculture. Their new knowledge is enabling them to farm more sustainably and efficiently, and also improve their diet. This particular project focuses mainly on Mali's 'breadbasket' region, the Inner Niger Delta. Here farmers are making intensive use of new small-scale irrigation systems. Indeed, small farmers in the Bélédougou Region have increased their rice yields fourfold.

Jürgen Koch, GIZ Country Director for Mali, reported on this and other projects on 21 September in GIZ's Berlin representation. As part of the 'GIZ at work' series, which is organised regularly with Radio Berlin Brandenburg (rbb) Inforadio, he talked, among other things, about the GIZ-run projects that are helping to improve people's lives in Mali and the topics covered by GIZ’s advisory services provided to Mali’s government. Two Mali-born musicians, Ahmed ag Kaedi and Master Soumy, created the perfect ambience for the event, delighting the audience with their music from the film 'Mali Blues', which had premiered in Germany the previous day.

The interview was recorded and will be broadcast on 2 October at 8:22 am on rbb Inforadio (Berlin and Brandenburg). It is also available for download from GIZ’s Media Centre.