Activities are picking up again around climate-smart agriculture of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and other development projects in Mali
Activities around climate-smart agriculture and gender equity, a project of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and other development projects are picking up again in Mali, our Development Agenda source informed from the Malian capital, Bamako. CCAFS has been working in Mali and other West African countries to develop climate-smart village (CSV) models with various local partners. Development is being guided by participatory action research in a number of pilot sites. A climate-smart village is a site where farmers work with researchers and other local partners to test a portfolio of climate-smart technologies and practices. The CSV projects are executed in an integrated manner in order to realize the three-fold benefits of climate-smart agriculture, which are: productivity, adaptation, and mitigation. The aim is to ensure that these triple wins are maximized, so food insecurity as a result of climate change vagaries is contained.
In Mali, the CCAFS climate-smart village is located in Cinzana, Ségou. As far back as 2012, CCAFS has been helping to develop a national science-policy dialogue platform which is a network of national stakeholders, including scientists and policymakers who regularly exchange knowledge on adaptation to climate change. Mali is a member of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance (CSAA) launched in June 2015 in the West African country. in partnership with ECOWAS and CCAFS, the climate-smart agriculture alliance has three key aims, which include: increasing farm productivity and incomes sustainably and equitably; enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate variability and change; and controlling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible and appropriate, at a regional level.
The competent source told our magazine that the various ministries, departments, and agencies whose activities are directly linked to Environment, Finance, Agriculture, Water Resources, and Education are being energized to put the country back on track for growth and development. Mali is a Sahelian country that covers a total area of 1,241,238 square kilometers. The country has three seasons: the cool season from November to March, the 33 hot season from April to June, and the rainy season, which is demonstrated through nocturnal thunderstorms from July to October. In Mali, agriculture is extremely important to the Malian people and their economy. Up to 80 percent of the population derive their income from agriculture. The Malian government has identified agricultural development as the country’s main engine of economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security. The sector creates jobs, generates income, puts food on the table, and improves the living environment of the ordinary Malian. Agriculture is thus, central to economic and social stability in the West African country.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF July 2023), since 2020, the share of Mali’s population facing food insecurity has increased further. The country has also been facing COVID-19-related supply bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine which has severely affected global food supplies. Food prices in Mali in late 2022 were around 30 percent above their 2019 average. In early 2023, food prices have remained raised. According to the latest data, food items now account for just under 60 percent of consumer spending in Mali, whereas data about three-quarters of the population has insufficient food consumption. In early 2023, more than 760,000 people (15 percent of the population) were estimated to be facing severe food insecurity. An additional 2.9 million people were at risk of experiencing food insecurity. By mid-2023 that segment is anticipated to rise to 24 percent, with 1.3 million people facing severe food insecurity and a further 4 million people at risk, according to data from FSC, 2023.
Already a record increase in temperature, an abnormal decrease in rainfall, and an advance in desertification have been observed in the country in the last five years. Environmental and climate change experts predict that Mali will see an increase in extreme weather events like droughts and floods. This increasing climate variability and change aggravates human pressures on land, water, and other natural resources. To make matters worse, many Malian producers live on small-scale family farms which are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Perhaps, with the renewed Vigor, agriculture, Mali’s economic and social stability that has been threatened by climate change in recent years, could begin to rearrange the West African country’s economy, which was $48 billion as the end of 2022 (World Economics 2022).