Agri-Hub Mali in turmoil due to recent political developments
A successful, highly participatory multi stakeholder meeting in Sikasso in November 2011 resulted in good draft action plans, which were finalized some 2½ months later (February) in a 2-day session in Sikasso. The plans clearly indicate goals, budgets, and results and focus on the following themes for joint action and learning:
- Access to finance/financial services
- Marketing and market access
- Access to input and agricultural equipment
- Capacity building of producer organisations
- Land tenure
Willingness among the Dutch Agri-ProFocus members and Embassy to support the plans, by means of financial & human resources, is high. Yet, the turmoil that started at the end of March 2012 slows down the development process around the Agri-Hub in Sikasso and certainly hampers the start-up of a 2nd Agri-Hub in Ségou. The young Mali Agri-Hub is in a difficult position.
Do visit: http://apf-mali.ning.com for the complete action plans and progress in the Agri-Hub!
The agricultural sector in Mali, which accounts for one third of GDP, occupies two thirds of the workforce. Production of dry cereal, the staple diet of the population, is marked by very low productivity. Cereal production in Mali, however, exceeds the country’s food needs (surplus of 264,300 tons in 2005-2006). Food difficulties encountered by the population (once every three years for twenty years) would be more a problem of access due to poverty and transportation costs.
The agricultural growth is attributable to two crops, rice and cotton.
- The irrigated rice production was the only sector registering a growth of agricultural productivity in recent years continues.
- Cotton remains the number one cash crop in Mali. The sector has 200,000 family farms and 3.3 million people live directly and indirectly.
- Livestock accounts for 11% of GDP and is the third export sector, the market covers mainly the coastal countries of the sub-region. The potential for breeding is important.