Matchmaking events connect farmers with the school feeding market in Mali


News

The Procurement for Governance Home Grown School Feeding (PG-HGSF) project has launched its next case study in a series on matchmaking events between smallholder farmers and procuring bodies in the school feeding system. This case study, 'Matchmaking events connect farmers with the school feeding market in Mali', was written by Pamela Karg, Laouali Sadda and Katherine Casey.

With a budget of $3.6 million for food purchases annually, the Government of Mali’s school feeding program has the potential to be a large and fruitful local market for area farmers. However, when the PG-HGSF project started in 2012, farmers and their cooperatives either had not considered the school meal programme as a potential market or—if they knew it existed—had not sold any food directly to this market.

Commune mayors and school management committees were also not purchasing from smallholder farmers. They were either unaware of local producers with the requisite commercial registrations, or preferred products from outside the immediate community, such as rice, which is easier to prepare than local grains.

To create a space for school management committee members and, when applicable, commune mayors to connect with farmer cooperatives in their area, PG-HGSF started piloting matchmaking events in 2013. This case study presents SNV Mali’s approach to matching school feeding buyers and suppliers, and describes the business relationships that developed as the result of one matchmaking event in Siadougou.

Download 'Matchmaking events connect farmers with the school feeding market in Mali' in English or French. To read more about PG-HGSF’s matchmaking pilots, download our case studies from Ghana and Kenya.