I am honored to join the government and the people of Alatona to see for myself what the partnership between Mali and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is doing to increase agricultural productivity, reduce poverty and improve social well-being.
Agriculture is the backbone of Mali’s economy. And, the United States-Mali partnership through MCC is committed to making this sector stronger and better. Achieving our shared mission of poverty reduction through economic growth means increasing agricultural production and making Mali’s farmers more competitive.
Mali’s MCC compact will accomplish that: transform the life of the Mali farmer for the better. Our agriculture project is large-scale in scope, integrated and designed for sustainability.
We constructed irrigation canals and improved the main canal system. Over 5,000 hectares of low productivity, arid herding areas are transformed into highly productive, irrigated farms.
We are improving the main roads to link to the rest of the country. This will give Mali’s farmers access to markets for the products they grow.
We are providing farmers with land titles for the first time. This provides them security and a way to capitalize on assets to access credit and explore investment opportunities.
We dramatically improved social infrastructure and services. Houses, latrines, schools, clinics, markets, warehouses, and water wells have been built, equipped and staffed, where previously there were none. These create stronger communities, capable of economic development.
We expanded access to financial and technical services.
We are providing training to producers and water users’ organizations.
We are building stronger institutions to ensure the sustainability of our investments.
These integrated investments—along the entire value chain—are a priority for Mali. As part of this commitment, I join you today to inaugurate these accomplishments. Your hard work here will grow a robust harvest that will benefit your families, your communities and Mali as a whole.
Now, I challenge each of you to remain focused on the full and timely implementation of Mali’s MCC compact in the remaining 11 months. Let us continue building on the foundation already in place through infrastructure improvements, policy changes and institutional reforms in the agriculture sector. This determination will promote greater and better farming in Mali. Merci.