WASHINGTON, June 28, 2013 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved US$60 million IDA* credit to support Mali’s participation in a regional program to increase the productivity of rice and other crops with improved agricultural technologies such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
Today’s IDA credit will finance the second phase of West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program for Mali (WAAPP-2A Mali), a regional program designed to increase agricultural productivity, in each of the 13 participating countries. WAAPP includes research into improving livestock production with vaccines, drugs and other approaches. Funding for the first wave of WAAPP projects was approved in 2007.
“We are delighted to support Mali’s efforts in the second phase of this program, which has already brought benefits to 110,000 people,” said Colin Bruce, World Bank Director of Strategey, Operations and Regional Integration for the Africa Region “Todays’ funding will help improve regional cooperation in agriculture research, and will transform the National Center of Specialization in Mali into a regional center of excellence.”
The funding will help Mali develop protocols for sharing new agriculture technologies across country borders. It will also support programs aimed at bringing the new technologies to local farmers. The project includes a new management, monitoring and evaluation system for research and other activities, at both the regional and national levels.
“The project’s focus on research and collaboration across the region will help farmers upgrade their agricultural technologies and techniques,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development for the Africa Region. “By increasing agricultural productivity Mali will create jobs and bring income and food to poor families within its borders and in the 13 countries participating in the regional program.”
Todays’ funds will also support the emergency distribution of kits with fertilizer and rice, wheat and vegetable seeds to farmers and vaccines, drugs and other products for livestock producers.
“This project’s emergency provisions will help to quickly remedy some of the most difficult problems faced by farmers who are recovering after wartime damage in 2012-2013 to their crops and equipment,” said Abdoulaye Toure, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “I look forward to helping with the successful implementation of this project.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.