Water-Wise: Smart Irrigation Strategies in MALI



Mali has a long tradition of irrigation due to strong institutional and programmatic innovations to both improve and expand irrigation levels.

The active involvement of the private sector contributed to increased irrigation uptake. In addition, small-scale, farmer-led irrigation is gaining importance in the irrigation policy process. Although the government increased investments in the expansion of land under irrigation, to date only a small share of the country’s land potential has been tapped. Compared to other countries in West Africa, Mali’s irrigation capacities have advanced substantially, with nearly 6 percent of arable land currently equipped for irrigation. Irrigated agriculture contributes significantly to the Malian agricultural gross domestic product. This achievement is largely due to institutional and programmatic commitments for increasing irrigation uptake. Despite this, the 2018 Biennial Review Report by the African Union revealed that Mali is not on track to meet Malabo Commitment area #3.1, “Access to agriculture inputs and technologies,” given its score of 4.56 out of 10, which falls below the 2017 minimum score of 5.53.

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