Mali mango farmers

Agriculture is a major industry in Mali, with a massive 80% of workers employed in the sector. Thanks to an optimal climate, mangos are one of the most abundant crops. Nevertheless, mango exports to other African and to European markets were still hindered by aging orchards with low yields, challenges of fruit fly control, a focus on volume over quality – and a lack of knowledge of international supply chains.

In 2017, the Bayer development program BayG.A.P. and Greenyard entered into an integrated development partnership (iEPW) with GIZ, to support local farmers with training and tackle these challenges, enabling further development of the local industry and expanding the existing certified grower base. Now, through years of hard work, over 1,200 smallholder farmers have been trained on G.A.P. from which more than 700 have achieved GLOBALG.A.P. IFA certification and gained with this certification access to international export markets.

Holistic training program for good agricultural practices

The effort to level up Malian exports through the promotion of good agricultural practices began with a holistic training concept. The training was led by BayG.A.P., a service program which supports small farmers worldwide in getting certified and connected to the food value chain. BayG.A.P. provided the farmers with both theoretical and practical coaching in technical, environmental, and ethical aspects of mango farming. Adapted according to local infrastructure challenges, training was held in the local Bambara language in the very mango orchards themselves. Assessments of each local producer’s current production processes also took place, with a personalized follow-up by local consultants included.

“BayG.A.P. was founded with the intention to support and train smallholders worldwide on G.A.P., practices that can bring them closer to certifying their produce. This was one of our first BayG.A.P. initiatives, and we are very grateful to GLOBALG.A.P., GIZ and Greenyard, and especially to the dedicated field specialists who have helped to make this possible.” Commented Gerhard Adam, Global Food Chain Partnership Lead

Measuring impact

The results have been impressive: An average productivity increase of 30% in combination with improved quality leading to 50% higher gross profit, and the creation of additional jobs within the mango processing industry. More importantly, says GIZ consultant for BayG.A.P. field coordination Drissa Sanogo, producers have a better understanding of what good agricultural practices mean for themselves and the impact on their business.

Mr. Berthe Keletigui, a mango producer in the Sikasso region, acknowledges that the BayG.A.P. training and the orchard register, which collects all relevant information about operations on the farms, gives him a more precise idea of the gains made in his field operation. For Mr. Ignace Sacko in Bougouni, his practices were greatly improved by generally improving his understanding of topics such as: The history and management of the farm and the safe use of plant protection products. Just as important are pruning techniques that significantly help to improve yields of the orchards.

Certification and beyond

Thanks to the training and assessment opportunities from BayG.A.P. and GIZ, 717 smallholders were eventually able to achieve GLOBALG.A.P. IFA certification.

Dr Ursula Wermund, Lead Sustainability and Quality Project Manager at Greenyard Fresh Services, commented: “GLOBALG.A.P is a base requirement to open the doors for the European market. Since the beginning of our partnership project in 2018 training programs via BayG.A.P.  have been fundamental to facilitate certification for a substantial amount of mango farmers in Mali.”


About BayG.A.P.

BayG.A.P. is a service program from Bayer which supports farmers worldwide in getting certified and connected food value chain. It is an important contribution to promoting good agricultural practices around the world, benefiting farmers, food chain partners, and consumers. BayG.A.P. follows a flexible approach offering training, tailored farm advice, and verification support to farmers so they can access local and international markets.

About GIZ

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is Germany's leading provider of international cooperation services. As a federal enterprise, it supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ is also engaged in international education work around the globe. The mango promotion takes place within the global program Green Innovation Centers for the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) under the framework of the special initiative “ONE WORLD – No Hunger” on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


About Greenyard

Greenyard (Euronext Brussels: GREEN) is a global market leader in fresh, frozen, and prepared fruit and vegetables, flowers, and plants. Counting Europe’s leading retailers amongst its customer base, Greenyard offers efficient and sustainable solutions to customers and suppliers through best-in-class products, market leading innovation, operational excellence, and outstanding service.

Its vision is to make lives healthier by helping people enjoy fruit and vegetables at any moment, easy, fast, and pleasurable, while fostering nature. With around 9.000 employees operating in 19 countries worldwide, Greenyard identifies its people, and customer and supplier relationships, as the key assets which enable it to deliver goods and services worth around € 4,4 billion per annum. 

Photo: Courtesy by GIZ