Agriculture and Food Security in Sikasso, Mali
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with about 60 percent of its population living in poverty. This case study was aimed at improving the robustness of the country’s agricultural sector to climatic variability and overall agricultural productivity.
Mali was chosen as a study site because it faces major food security problems and its economy, based largely on rain-fed agriculture, is particularly climate sensitive.
The sector faces severe challenges: the climate is hot and dry and only 4 percent of the land is arable. Boosting the productivity of this key sector will also improve its economy and standard of living.
The pilot study in Sikasso followed six steps: screening for vulnerability; convening stakeholders to determine next steps; analyses of climate impacts; selecting adaptation plans; implementing them; and evaluating the results.
The analysis projected a 1°C rise in temperature by 2030 and 2-3°C by 2060. Precipitation projections varied considerably. Without adaptation measures, yields of all crops other than cotton were projected to drop from 6-17 percent.
Farmers sought help to improve their infrastructure and backed a warrantee scheme that allowed rice to be stored until market prices were more favorable. Technical experts favored improving crop management. The case study lists ways that USAID can help Sikasso improve its agricultural productivity.