DLEC Report: Status of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services in Mali

The report presents findings of the DLEC Mali in-depth assessment of extension and advisory services. The report used a combination of literature review, site visits, and interviews with key informants to gain insight on the extension and advisory services (EAS) system in Mali. It also provides an assessment of the Feed the Future Livestock for Growth project’s EAS activities and makes recommendations for strengthening it. The document uses the “best-fit” framework to examine the services from a systems perspective, looking at six EAS characteristics – the governance structures and policy environment; organizational and management capacities and cultures; advisory methods; market engagement; livelihood strategies; and community engagement.

The following are entry points or drivers of success for improving the extension system in Mali:

  1. Commitment of the Government of Mali to agriculture as evidenced by its high level of investment.
  2. Donor interest and support for EAS.
  3. A significant number of competent stakeholders in EAS, including many international technical experts and researchers.
  4. Coordination structures in place that could be consolidated and used for more efficient EAS planning and delivery.
  5. A wide variety of well-established advisory methods including FFS and innovative uses of radio and other ICTs.
  6. Opportunities to scale and increase sustainability through the use of ICT.

Recommendations include (among others)

  1. Developing an EAS Coordination Framework
  2. Develop and Implementing an Action Plan to Increase Use of ICT in EAS
  3. Scaling ICT Use to Promote Market and Value Chain Participation
  4. Promoting Youth Inclusion and Employability through EAS

Finally, with regard to L4G, the report recommends that the project share good practices on directly training livestock producers, how to build capacity of facilitators and organizational capacity building; share lessons from the planned L4G baseline study on how producers use market information; and work with the EAS fraternity in Mali to promote sustainable and scalable approaches to EAS using lessons learned in the project.

For much more information, including additional recommendations, please see the attached report.