On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German development bank KfW signed a financing agreement with the Malian Ministry of Agriculture amounting to 8.5 million Euro for the construction and rehabilition of irrigated areas in the Gao and Ménaka region to facilitate sustainable and profitable agriculture. A second agreement worth 24.5 million Euro was concluded for similar measures in the Timbuktu and Mopti regions. The new and rehabilitated irrigated areas of around 22,600 hectares will produce 35,800 tonnes of grain (mainly rice), 17,500 tonnes of vegetables and 15,200 tonnes of Bourgou a year, a fodder plant native to the Sahel – all even in periods of drought. This is equivalent to the annual food requirements of 260,000 people and ensures the survival of the livestock.
“Increasing agricultural production and the resulting growth in jobs play a key role in improving Mali's living conditions and development. These factors make an important contribution to peace and security in the country. In addition, greater food security and employment will increase opportunities to prevent people from leaving and attract them back home,” said Dr Joachim Nagel, member of KfW Group's Executive Board.
The living conditions of the people in northern Mali had deteriorated even more than in the rest of the country as a result of the rebellion and military coup in 2012/2013.