As part of the SCS International-2SCALE partnership
, launched in 2019, the idea of a sectoral change based on the development and implementation of a common quality assurance reference system recognized by all proved to be essential to structure and professionalize the Malian vegetable sector. However, the challenges mentioned above went beyond the scope of a simple partnership. Thus, under the guidance of 2SCALE, SCS called upon other actors evolving in different elements of the value chain (production, transportation, transformation and marketing) of the vegetable sector in order to create a synergy to achieve a consensual change. From this initiative, the informal alliance for change (AIC) was officially launched on November 25, 2021 under the chairmanship of the MalianMinister of Rural Development.
Convinced that effective change always requires a critical mass of actors, this process involved all actors in the vegetable sector in Mali. Marlène Amégangpoe, General Manager of SCS and President of AIC explains:
Thus, since its creation, the AIC has implemented a pathway that aims to lead to the creation of a national standard to govern the entire vegetable sector in Mali. With the objective of supporting the production and marketing of vegetables according to the requirements of a quality guarantee standard that respects the health of consumers and the protection of the environment, AIC's role is also to develop specifications that determine the various production standards and product quality specifications; while supporting market-oriented production, intensive marketing and large-scale processing of healthy, good quality vegetables at affordable prices.
Consensus on a set of specifications
As part of the implementation of its development plan, after two years of information, training and awareness-raising activities, the AIC has drawn up a set of specifications that will regulate vegetable production in Mali. These specifications, which aim to harmonize the sector, were presented to the general public on Thursday, November 10, 2022 in Bamako. This was done during a workshop organized by AIC, in partnership with 2SCALE, which brought together all the actors involved, including the State authorities through the Ministry of Agriculture. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Rural Development, in his speech, welcomed this initiative which is closely followed by his Department in its agricultural development policy. He also encouraged all the actors to take ownership of the document:
Strategies and lessons
The inclusive nature of the systemic change approach within the Malian vegetable sector contributed greatly to the success of the initiative. Indeed, long before the AIC was set up, the committee worked on identifying and sharing the problems with all the stakeholders. Convinced of the real existence of these problems, the stakeholders involved did not hesitate to give their approval by committing themselves to the systemic change process. A first study was conducted with 100 actors of the sector who were all convinced that it is necessary to go towards a change, i.e. to produce vegetables while respecting the principles of environmental protection and also respecting human health. Mr. Abdoulaye Bamba, President of the Union Nationale des Coopératives de Planteurs et Maraîchers du Mali (National Union of Planters and Vegetable Growers of Mali) testifies:
Place and role of the private sector in the process of systemic change in Mali
One of the particularities of the change initiative within the Malian vegetable sector lies in the commitment of private sector partners to carry the process through to completion. Indeed, since the establishment of the AIC, the actors have been voluntarily involved in taking charge of all activities to develop the idea. In addition, the establishment of the AIC has made it possible to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each person within a link in the value chain.
As of the next season, AIC aims to reach 1000 integrated producers who will produce vegetables on nearly 125 hectares for 500 tons of vegetables marketed under the label "Légumes sains du Mali".