The World Bank-funded AICCRA project increases yield & income for more than 150,000 farmers in Mali
Mali has multiple vulnerabilities to climate variability and change. It is one of the least developed countries with an economy that relies heavily on cereal production. Farming and fishing account for 45% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employ about 80% of the workforce while rice contributes around 5% of the country’s GDP.
From 2000 to 2021, rice production in Mali increased by 15% per year, but such an increase was not able to keep pace with the growth in rice consumption. Every year, Mali spends over $USD 78 million on rice importation. Lower rice production in Mali is attributed to several factors including poor land development, soils, and management practices, use of obsolete varieties, and climate variability and change.
To overcome those challenges, the World Bank-funded Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project is helping Mali in upgrading rice-based systems by developing and implementing climate information services and climate-smart agriculture across value chains in rice and other essential food crops. Led by AfricaRice, CGIAR, public and private partners, AICCRA-Mali addresses the current data limitation in climate services and enhances access to demand-driven, cost-effective, and timely climate services, and climate-smart agriculture practices through inclusive partnership, capacity building, sustainable finance, evidence, learning and policy engagement.
Started in February 2021, AICCRA-Mali supported over 150,000 farmers, including more than 72,000 women in the adoption of RiceAdvice digital application for sustainable rice cultivation, mechanization services, solar-powered irrigation systems, drought-tolerant rice varieties, Smart-Valleys development for water-harvesting, alternate wetting and drying for producing rice with less water and greenhouse gas emissions, GEM parboiling technology for improving grain quality with less greenhouse gas emissions, and climate information services. Farmers' income increased by 5,262 USD/ha when they had access to solar-powered irrigation systems. By using drought-tolerant varieties and following RiceAdvice recommendations, farmers increased their income by 364 USD/ha.
The project generated employment for 90 young service providers including 33 women. It also strengthened the capacity of
764 public and private sector employees, including 280 women, in providing real-time weather services and implementing bundles of climate-smart agriculture and climate information services.
To ensure the sustainability of the achievement, AICCRA-Mali employs innovative business models to link the Scaling of Climate smart Agriculture (CSA) and Climate Information Services (CIS) bundles with job creation for women and youth, while addressing bottlenecks such as limited access to input, finance, information, and technologies, which stymie farmers' decisions to adopt innovations.
The Center for Mechanized Agriculture, the "Saving for Change" financing mechanism, and the "Farmers' hub" business approach, which have been the main pathways for scaling drought-tolerant rice varieties, RiceAdvice, mechanization services, solar-powered irrigation systems, and diversification options in rice-based systems, are successful examples of business models. AICCRA-Mali is an excellent example of how the application of business-oriented scaling of CSA and CIS, can enhance farmers' livelihoods in the face of climate change.