This Missing Middle Initiative pilot project is strengthening four main rice producer organizations’ ability to provide value-added services for members, ultimately improving the quality of paddy and milled rice, commencing fortified rice production, and attracting private sector investment in the rice supply chain. This project also seeks to increase production and processing of niébé, a highly nutritious crop that is an important component of the Malian diet. Through quality control, increased mechanization, training, and facilitating access to financial services, the targeted farmers’ organizations will be better prepared to assure the quality of rice and niébé sold by their farmers.
- Jobs and Income
As of December 2020, the project has benefitted 14,647 people, five producer organizations, and 81,559 hectares of land with improved production support. In total, 210 grassroots associations/cooperatives, out of a forecasted 235 (89.4 percent), had access to production and marketing credits. New loans have been granted and are still under negotiation with partner financial institutions for production and marketing activities. Thus, at the end of 2020, the planned credits for production were CFAF 232,000,000 and those for marketing were CFAF 50,000,000.
Under the improved rice paddy production component, the project has been implementing and monitoring 24 school fields for rice production; developing and disseminating to 51,500 farmers so far radio broadcasts on good agricultural practices and increased access to rice production and processing facilities, including through the use of machinery; and supporting beneficiaries to access credit. The project also has made notable improvements in the rice yield and reduced post-harvest breakage and humidity in the two implementation sites and purchased and used rice production and processing facilities to improve the overall efficiency/ effectiveness of rice cultivation processes (e.g., reduced ploughing time). Additional machinery is anticipated to be received in-country in early 2021 to further progress the achievements under this component.
Under the cowpea production component, the project sought to set up and ensure access to a cowpea processing center, particularly for women producers. To do this, the project conducted scoping missions and produced reports on the market functionality/specification of required equipment and recruited two companies, one for construction and one to acquire equipment. The service providers developed and made available to the public awareness-raising and nutrition education tools and a marketing plan for processed cowpea to support the farmers organizations. A formal inauguration of the processing facility will be conducted in early 2021.
GAFSP Coordination Unit: