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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. About 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for a living. Feed the Future investments in Mali aim to improve agricultural practices among farmers, address malnutrition and poor diets, and create economic opportunities both on and off the farm.

  • 378 THOUSAND
    Producers using new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY17
  • $50.6 MILLION
    Annual agricultural sales generated by Malians reached by Feed the Future in FY17 
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY17
  • $10.6 Million
    Value of new loans to Feed the Future-supported farmers in FY17


  • 296 THOUSAND
    Hectares tended with improved technologies or management practices in FY17
  • $47.34 MILLION
    New private sector capital investment in the agriculture sector or food system facilitated by Feed the Future in FY17

Key Achievements

In 2018 Mali is expected to produce a total production of four million tons of rice, an increase of more than five percent compared to the 2017 season, making it one of the highest rice-producing countries in Africa. The Government of Mali has invested about $95.5 million in the supply of fertilizer to its rice producers during this year. Based on successful demonstration of fertilizer application by Feed the Future, the Mopti Regional Director of extension services ordered regional distribution centers to adopt this successful application technique.

In 2017, the number of farmers adopting improved technologies increased by 233 percent over last year, and the amount of hectares under improved management increased by 25 percent. To ensure these gains are sustainable for farmers, Feed the Future engaged private sector partners, resulting in an investment of $21.5 million, an increase of 223 percent from last year.

As a result of U.S. Government assistance, the value of agricultural and rural loans increased by nearly 90 percent, from $5.6 million in 2016 to $10.6 million in 2017. This includes $6 million to producers, $4.6 million to wholesalers and processors, and $19,658 to local traders and machine operators. With increased access to loans, local businesses are growing and expanding the variety of agricultural services they offer beyond the farm.

USAID’s agroforestry program with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) planted a total of 4.3 million new trees in 2017, of which 3.8 million were the result of a public-private partnership between ICRAF and Mali Bio-carburant (MB-SA). These trees make farmers more resilient by diversifying and increasing incomes through the sale of oilseeds for biofuel and soap. USAID and ICRAF also promoted a shea butter public private partnership with Olvea, which increased incomes for 25,000 Malian women by 75 percent.



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 2017 (FY17). 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
  • Increase household’s ability to build resilient livelihoods and weather shocks 

Zones of Influence in Mali

Map of Mali
  • Sikasso
  • Mopti
  • Timbuktu

Background Stats

  • 2.7 MILLION
    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions (Feed the Future Survey, 2015)
  • 5.3 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 38% of added value (World Bank, 2017)
  • 58.3 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Mali (World Bank, 2017)
  • 49.7 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living below the poverty line ($1.90/day) in Mali (World Bank, 2009)
  • 38.3 PERCENT
    Percentage of children under 5 stunted (2012/2013,DHS)

Value Chains

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


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.

Although much of the country is arid, the Niger River in Mali provides a rich base for agricultural development. Mali’s southern region has a lush subtropical climate, making it an ideal location for diversified agriculture and livestock.

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 these efforts by making investments that prevent malnutrition and improve nutrition outcomes, especially among women and children.

Mali is experiencing a recurrent volatile security situation with incidents shifting from Timbuktu and Gao to the central regions of Mopti and Segou. The security situation continues to complicate attracting foreign direct investment and access to capital.


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

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

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