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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."


Agricultural finance as a precondition for investment in smallholder agriculture in Mali

Karin Gaesing

University of Duisburg-Essen, Inst. for Development and Peace (INEF), Germany


Abstract


The research project “Ways out of poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity” conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace of Duisburg University with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) aims to develop recommendations for development cooperation regarding how to reach poor, vulnerable and food insecure people and to effectively improve their lives. The research approach is based on identifying good practice projects and assessing their outreach approaches, project activities, lessons learnt and above all their impact with regard to the reduction of food insecurity, vulnerability and poverty. Among the research methods are focus group discussions, PRA methods and intensive interviews with project staff and beneficiaries.
One of the good practice projects that was able to considerably improve smallholders’ lives, analysed by INEF, is the initiative of the social enterprise myAgro in Mali that developed an innovative approach to agricultural finance. Before the start of the agricultural season, male and female farmers choose a package from myAgro – mainly quality fertiliser and improved seeds. Farmers pay for their package in advance as per their ability, often in small amounts of money. Women’s traditional savings and credit groups are transformed into myAgro groups and regularly save money for their individual packages. The approach works with scratch cards and mobile phones.
Research results reveal that farmers can double their harvests, are food secure and sell the production surplus on the market. However, the research also discusses bottlenecks of this approach with regard to agro-ecological farming and of dealing with social enterprises.


Keywords: Agricultural finance, Mali, social enterprise


Contact Address: Karin Gaesing, University of Duisburg-Essen, Inst. for Development and Peace (INEF), Duisburg, Germany, e-mail: karin.gaesing@uni-due.de


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