Out of the 703 municipalities in Mali, Cinzana is the biggest one with its 72 villages. Since the start of a decentralization process in Mali in 1993, the state has transferred many responsibilities to the municipalities, including the accountability and ownership of development. In Cinzana municipality, payment of local development tax (less than US$2 per person aged from 14 to 60 years) was previously a major challenge for smallholder farmers. “Before the start of the P4P project, local tax recovery rate was about 50 to 60 percent in Cinzana municipality but now it’s about 83 to 86 percent, thanks to a better income for farmers” said Bamoussa Traoré, Mayor of Cinzana municipality. “This local tax increase is extremely important as it allows the municipality council to meet the needs of the communities by building schools and health centres in many villages”.
Training that connects farmers to markets
In one of the villages, Falema, the municipality council has used the increased tax revenues to build a community health centre which increases access to medical services for many people like Assitan Traoré who lives in Tigini, about 6 kilometres away. “I used to go to a health centre which is 35 kilometres away from my village but now I don’t have to pay anymore for transport, I get quicker medical treatment and return earlier home to continue my daily work” said Assitan.
Since 2009, P4P has worked with the Dry Cereals Producers Union in Cinzana (USCPCS). In partnership with PRECAD, AMASSA Afrique Verte and Sasakawa Global 2000, P4P has trained the smallholder farmers on farming techniques and access to agricultural inputs, cereals commercialization, tendering, organisation management and post-harvest handling. They have also been equipped with scales, pallets and sieves, instruments that help them partake in other competitive markets beyond WFP.
Thousands of indirect beneficiaries
During the P4P pilot, the USCPCS Farmer’s Organisation has supplied WFP with 1,250 metric tons of quality commodities including millet, sorghum and beans to a value of US$ 525,000. USCPCS is also supplying quality cereals to food processors and other buyers. The positive impacts of the P4P project have encouraged more farmers to join the USCPCS Farmers’ Organisation which has almost tripled its members from 145 in 2009 to 427 in 2013. Moreover, the 40,000 inhabitants in Cinzana continues to benefit from the new schools and health centres that the local government is building as a result of the increased tax revenues from smallholder farmers.
In total, WFP has purchased 13,400 metric tons of quality commodities from P4P supported farmers organisations in Mali, injecting more than US$ 7 million into the economy of a country which ranks 182 out of 187 in UNDP ‘s 2012 Human Development Index.
Story by Daouda Guirou, WFP Mali