Maimouna Sidibé Coulibaly of Mali, an inspiring beneficiary of Winrock and USAID, is on the world stage after winning the Africa Food Prize. This USAID Mali photo essay illustrates her journey from beneficiary to entrepreneur and job-creator. She is one of only two winners selected from a field of 643 candidates (the other 2017 winner, Ruth Oniang’o, also has a Winrock connection). The prize recognizes those who use agriculture to transform lives and stimulate economic development. Both women have been awarded $100,000 to expand and reinvest in their work to make their communities stronger, healthier, more prosperous and self-sufficient.
Coulibaly received support from USAID’s Mali Agriculture Value Chain Enhancement Network (MAVEN) program (implemented by ACDI/VOCA and Winrock International). From 2010 to 2015, six Winrock Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers worked with Coulibaly on improved seed production, processing, packaging, organizational development and hybrid seed production, which can result in a 25- to 40-percent increase in yields.
“The volunteers helped me a lot,” said Coulibaly in a 2015 interview with Winrock. “I was already involved in the business, but it was only after the volunteers came that I really understood. Thanks to the volunteers, I have transformed my traditional handmade seed processing unit into a modern enterprise with much greater reach on a national level”
Within two years of receiving assistance from Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers, Coulibaly’s seed production increased ten times. Her company Faso Kaba, now the largest seed provider in Mali, has sold over one million tons of seeds and created jobs for more than 100 Malians. Her work has made Mali and neighboring countries more food-secure.
— Mark Green (@USAIDMarkGreen) November 7, 2017
— USAID Mali (@USAIDMali) November 6, 2017