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The agriculture sector is the cornerstone of Mali’s economy and holds great promise for broad-based economic growth and opportunity. Around 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for a living.

  • 378 THOUSAND
    Producers using new technology and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY16
  • $11 MILLION
    New income earned by Feed the Future farmers in FY16 from agricultural sales
  • 1.2 MILLION
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY16
  • $5.6 MILLION
    Value of new loans to Feed the Future-supported farmers in FY16


  • 2.4 MILLION
    Number of people who live in Feed the Future target regions in Mali
  • 56.4 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living below the poverty line in Feed the Future target regions

Key Achievements

The number of smallholder farmers who applied improved technologies or management practices increased by a factor of 25 since 2011, reaching 378,472 farmers in 2016, one third of whom were women.

The value of targeted agricultural commodities exported with U.S. Government assistance increased by threefold in just one year, attaining a total volume of sales of $2.5 million.

Feed the Future leveraged $21.6 million in private sector capital investment in 2016 alone.


These results reflect information from U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. African Development Foundation reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2016 (FY16). For more information on the indicators above, please view the Feed the Future Indicator Handbook.


  • Strengthen targeted value chains
  • Address high levels of malnutrition and low dietary diversity
  • Improve the enabling environment for agricultural trade and investment
  • Build capacity among farmers, the private sector, civil society, and public institutions

Zones of Influence in Mali

Map of Mali
  • Sikasso
  • Mopti
  • Timbuktu
  • Two communes in Segou

Background Stats

  • 5.3 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 40.7% of added value (World Bank, 2016)
  • 59.3 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Mali (World Bank, 2016)

Value Chains

  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Rice
  • Livestock
Mymouna Sidibe, co-president of a local women's food co-op, prepares millet to be transformed into cous cous.


The agriculture sector is the cornerstone of Mali’s economy and holds great promise for broad-based economic growth and opportunity. Around 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for a living.

Although much of the country is arid, the Niger River provides a rich base for agricultural development. The southern region has a lush subtropical climate, making it an ideal location for diversified agriculture and livestock. Localized successes in agricultural intensification and marketing demonstrate that, with improved technologies, better soil and water management, local community engagement, and an enhanced enabling environment, Mali can harness its agricultural potential to feed its population, generate economic growth, and spur regional trade. Yet agricultural yields in Mali vary considerably year to year and by region due to variable rainfall, decreasing soil fertility, and recent political and security concerns. The country also has high birth (six children per woman on average) and malnutrition rates, which contribute to poor health, high infant and child mortality rates, and diminished economic productivity. Malian diets are cereal-based and have little diversity in terms of fruits and vegetables or sources of animal protein.

The social dynamics of gender and income distribution in the household, low educational attainment, cultural norms, and access to and use of health services all contribute to low overall health and nutrition. However, the Government of Mali’s increased recognition of nutrition’s importance has resulted in renewed commitment to address it. Nutrition is an integral part of the government’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy currently under formulation.


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Mali.

  • Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING)
  • Alatona Producer Association Strengthening Technical Assistance
  • Alatona Water Association Business Development Technical Assistance
  • Agricultural Statistics Capacity Building LSMS (World Bank)
  • Agroforestry Scaling (ICRISAT & ICRAF)
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Capacity Building (US Department of Commerce)
  • Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (MSU)
  • Business Enabling Environment (World Bank)
  • Cereals Value Chain Program (ACDI/VOCA)
  • Cereals Value Chain Impact Evaluation and Feed the Future Baseline
  • Development Credit Authority (DCA) Loan Portfolio Financing for Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Finance Technical Assistance (TA) for DCA
  • Fertilizer Technology Scaling (IFDC)
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy
  • Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
  • Horticulture Scaling (AVRDC)
  • Livestock for Growth Value Chain (AECOM)
  • Sorghum and Millet Scaling Up (ICRISAT)
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING)
  • USAID Food for Peace Program
  • USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education

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