Canada and Mali have signed four Memorandums of Understanding totaling about 29 billion FCFA to finance four projects to promote socio-economic development in rural areas of the West African country.
Official sources said the MOUs were signed on Wednesday by the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation, Mr. Abdoulaye Diop and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Canada in Mali, Mr Marc-Andre Fredette.
The first project entitled Support to Rural Inclusive Financing in Mali (AFIRMA) is part of a sectoral and inclusive approach to the development of microfinance.
The 12.7 million Canadian-dollar (about 5.7 billion CFA francs) project will be implemented in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the rural micro finance programme in Mali.
The second project named Agricultural and Rural Finance in Mali (FARM) is estimated at 18.410 million Canadian dollars, or just over 8.2 billion CFA. It aims at increasing food security in the context of demographic growth, with contribution to local financial institutions and to provide better access to finance agriculture. It provides for the establishment of an insurance-loan funds and insurance to guarantee the harvest.
The third project, “Feere Diyara”, meaning “The marketing was good” in national Bambara language, aims to reduce the poverty rate of grain and vegetable growers of Segou, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Mopti.
It will be funded to the tune of 13.617 Canadian dollars, or about 6.1 billion FCFA. It will contribute to building capacity of producer organizations in these regions.
The fourth project dubbed Agricultural Training for Food Security in Mali (FASAM) is funded to the tune of 19.448 million Canadian dollars, or more than 8.7 billion FCFA.
It will support three agricultural training institutions in technical, professional and higher level that will provide revised and improved training programs taking into account the challenges of farming in Mali.
The project will also strengthen the management of targeted institutions and offer internships to students.