This is something we needed to know about, support, promote and make better known at the national level in order to benefit to the maximum,” said Minister Mohamed Ould Mahmoud while on a visit to the ICRISAT research station in Samanko with a group of high-level members of the Malian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The Minister commended the organization’s contribution to sorghum, millet and legumes research for food and fodder security and the role of the genebank in protecting the crops’ genetic resources in the region.
“Our immediate priority is to prepare for the 2021-22 agricultural cropping season. I have seen the different promising varieties that have the potential to improve the productivity of both crops and livestock,” said the Minister following a tour of the ongoing trials and interaction with scientists. The field visit included a tour of the cold rooms for sorghum and groundnut seed storage, the pathology and aflatoxin laboratory, which particularly captured his attention, and the sorghum and groundnut experimentation plots of improved varieties.
Upon arrival at the research station, the Minister met with Dr Ramadjita Tabo, Research Program Director, West and Central Africa, and watched with great interest a film on ICRISAT at 2022, a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the institute. A second video on the Smart Food initiative drew his attention on the need to promote and adopt improved varieties that are climate resilient and nutri-dense.
In response to the videos and Dr Tabo’s presentation, the Minister reiterated the crucial place and role of millet and sorghum in Mali, the important role research plays and the benefit that Mali can derive from partnering with a center of excellence such as ICRISAT. He reassured ICRISAT of continued support in all areas of research operations in Mali.
The delegation toured the facilities (cold seed stores, labs and fields) and experiments of hosted institutions at Samanko, including the World Agroforestry Centre and the World Vegetable Center. They were briefly introduced to the staff of the International Livestock Research Institute, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.
Before leaving the research station, the Minister and his team were served smart food products as refreshment. The visit ended with a stop at the Tubaniso Agribusiness Incubation Center, a former United States Peace Corps training center maintained by ICRISAT.
The Minister visited the ICRISAT research station at Samanko, Mali, on February 16, while on a tour of various agricultural training and production facilities, and the Joint India-Mali Venture for assembling tractors at Samanko. He was accompanied by members of his Cabinet, notably Mr Lassine Dembele, the Secretary General to the Ministry and Mr Oumar Tamboura, the Director General of Agriculture, and other high-official members of the Ministry.
Excellent working environment, with a determined, committed and innovative ICRISAT team that records research results to boost production and promote millets and sorghum-based Smart Food.
Mr Mohamed Ould Mahmoud, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, remarks in the guestbook.
Read more about our work in Mali on EXPLOREit
Link to video about the visit by Mali’s National TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKczRmVPO70
Agathe Diama, Head Regional Information, Smart Food Coordinator, ICRISAT-West and Central Africa.