(Ecofin Agency) - Mali’s government signed a partnership agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to execute the agricultural inclusive financial services project (INCLUSIF). The document was initialed July 6 by the Malian finance minister Boubou Cissé and Gilbert Houngbo, head of IFAD.
The project estimated at $105.5 million is set to run over the 2018-24 period. Under the agreed terms, the government will commit $4.6 million while $58 million will come from IFAD. The goal is to ensure a higher level of financial inclusion for local smallholders, professional agricultural organizations and SMEs, through the development of financial services and a better access to financing.
Main targeted regions include Ségou, Sikasso, kayes, and Mopti. The project is expected to reach 440,000 small-scale producers and 360 professional agricultural organizations, and boost 110 agricultural SMEs.
In Mali, rural financial inclusion rate stands at only 20%, IFAD said. Still, back in 2016, less than 1% of banks’ credit portfolio went to agriculture.