Maize has shown significant growth over the past 30 years in Mali and become an important contributor to food security—as a human food staple, as a source of producer income, and as the cereal most used in animal feed and meat production. Thus, maize makes multiple contributions to income generation and poverty reduction for smallholder farmers.
The existence of national and sub-regional market demand for maize for human and animal consumption, linked to the presence of ample input suppliers, producers, processors, and traders argues strongly in favor of promoting the maize value chain in Mali.
Climate change models suggest that maize largely a rain-fed crop will be one of the commodities most affected by decreasing rainfall, more erratic rainfall patterns, and increased run-off rates. IICEM works with the IER, DNA, WASA, and other seed organizations to introduce maize seed that has shorter cycles and is more resistant to moisture stress.
The project seeks to make the value chain more functional and more efficient, reduce costs, and increase revenue to benefit all stakeholders, especially smallholder farmers.
What IICEM seeks to achieve & how IIEM is implemented
IICEM has launched a study of the maize value chain, enabling the project to determine a strategic orientation. Also, in order to facilitate business relationships between processors and producers IICEM representatives have held meetings with stakeholders to better understand the dynamics of cereal based final product markets.
To improve production and productivity, IICEM helped 1,447 farmers plant a new variety of maize better adapted to Mali’s challenging climate, in turn increasing their adaptive capacity to cope with the effects of climate variability and change.
To improve access to finance, IICEM’s guarantee fund backed 26 loans totaling US$ 255,883 for production inputs like seed and fertilizer.
To foster a more enabling environment IICEM focuses its activities on strengthening professional unions, improving dialogue between value chain actors, and hosting trainings to present and discuss new orientations and strategies that support broad- scale agricultural development.