Improving food security through small-scale irrigation and agricultural extension

Project description

Title:  PASSIP - Strengthening national agricultural extension in Mali.
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: Affaires Mondiales Canada (AMC)/Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Country: Mali
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Rural Development (Ministère du Développement Rural, MDR)
Overall term: PASSIP V: 2022 to 2023

Drone image of the Solinkegny small-scale irrigation system (photo: GIZ/ STP/PNIP)


Around 80 per cent of Mali’s population earns a living from agriculture, generating approximately one third of the country’s gross national product. The most common form of agriculture is rain-fed farming for self-sufficiency. However, this dependency on agriculture makes Mali vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Half of the rural population lives below the poverty line and is affected by undernourishment and malnutrition.

Small-scale irrigation and agricultural extension play a key role in making agriculture more resilient and improving the economic situation and food security. There is significant potential for irrigation in Mali thanks to the natural and geographical conditions and available water reserves.


Farmers adopt innovative agro-ecological methods in small-scale irrigation. This improves agricultural productivity and food security.

Training in rice processing for multipliers (image: GIZ/ Bah Napo)


On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the project contributes to harnessing the value of small-scale irrigation systems in the long-term.

To achieve this objective, the project operates in three areas of action:

  • It is developing a new version of the national programme for small-scale irrigation (PNIP) based on past results and experience. This will incorporate economic, agro-ecological, gender-sensitive and nutrition-based aspects to an increasing degree.
  • It is supporting the National Directorate of Agriculture (DNA) in adopting a national agricultural extension system (SNCA) and developing integrated framework planning in two selected regions.
  • To ensure that the value of the small-scale irrigation systems is harnessed in the long term, the project is developing inclusive and integrated development plans with users at selected sites. The project also provides advice to smallholder farmers and members of farmers' organisations and water use committees on implementing the plans.

Last update: June 2023

Drip irrigation in a tomato field (image: GIZ/ Wohlmann)