Graziano da Silva meets with President of Mali
30 January 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - FAO Director- General José Graziano da Silva congratulated President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali on his successful election as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the African Union Summit today.
The Director-General and President Keïta discussed the newly approved $2 million project from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund that will support job creation in rural areas in Mali.
The President thanked the Director-General and said this was very encouraging as his government will invest about 15% of its national budget in agriculture, surpassing the 10% commitment under the Maputo Declaration.
Graziano da Silva encouraged the President to participate in activities planned in Mali in the context of the International Year of Family Farming and the African Year for Agriculture and Food Security.
The President asked for more support from FAO for a feasibility study for Agropoles of rural and peri-urban development for integrated agriculture development.
The two leaders also discussed the need for better data in Mali. Graziano da Silva mentioned the integrated agriculture and livestock census, for which FAO approved a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) of $380,000.
The two leaders discussed the importance of encouraging young people to work in the agriculture sector and the need to create the right environment for them to get involved in the economic development of their country.
The Director-General underlined Mali’s great potential and confirmed his support to the President, adding that he would visit Mali soon.