Background and purpose
Mali is experiencing erratic rainfall, resulting in more frequent dry years, which threaten agricultural productivity and growth. The national economy is vulnerable to climate change due to 50% of GDP coming from the agricultural sector, and 75% of the population living in rural areas. To attain food security objectives within this context of increased climatic variability, the Malian Association of Awareness to Sustainable Development (AMEDD), a local NGO acting on behalf of national science-policy dialogue platforms on climate change, agriculture and food security, has lead the participatory use and development of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Prioritization Framework (CSA-PF) together with stakeholders in Mali to find climate-smart solutions (practices, services and programs). The adoption of the CSA-PF was undertaken in collaboration with the Agency of Environment and Sustainable Development (AEDD), and with the support of CIAT and CCAFS.
Use and users
- First phase - Preliminary evaluation of CSA options: A group of national experts, with knowledge of the Malian agricultural systems and the challenges posed by climate change, identified 23 relevant CSA practices and assessed their performance against CSA goals: productivity, adaptation, mitigation.
- Second phase - Identification of main CSA options: The result of the second phase was the selection of specific practices for different regions such as the fixation of dunes in the Sahelian region, sorghum-cowpea association for the Sudano-sahelian region, and contour fields for the southern region. Barriers to adoption of practices and potential solutions were also explored.
- Third phase - Cost-benefit analyses (CBA): This analysis was conducted for practices in the Sudanese region, which is the agricultural breadbasket of the country. Estimates were made for a 5-year life cycle of practices and for the main crops found in the diversified farming systems (maize, millet, sorghum). Positive or negative externalities of these practices, such as those associated with social conflicts, carbon sequestration, and gender, were considered.
- Fourth phase – Portfolio definition: The results of the CBA analyses were presented during a second workshop attended by the same actors as the first workshop. Stakeholders validated the results of the CBA, and defined portfolios of practices to be promoted in the Sudanese region by taking into account both the impact of different land use practices on the pillars of CSA and the economic indicators of the CBA.
Two integrated portfolios were identified:
- Portfolio 1, focusing on technology integration (synergies) at the landscape level: contour bunds, improved varieties, diversification of incomes with fish ponds, development of rice cultivation valleys.
- Portfolio 2, focusing on technology integration at the field level: contour bunds, production and use of compost, improved varieties, sorghum and cowpea intercropping.
To address barriers of adaptation, four main activities were identified: Capacity building of farmers, set-up of research programs, strengthening the institutional environment, and the implementation of practices.