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The Impact On the Project is Not Too Bad. Not Yet…

The Jege ni Jaba project in Mali works on improving onion and fish value chains. It is one of ICCO’s biggest projects in the region. Since 2014, with support of the Dutch embassy, ICCO and local partners were able to build robust chains, focused on proximity and local consumption markets.

The Impact On the Project is Not Too Bad. Not Yet…

How do the onion and fish producers in Mali cope with the corona situation? Is it still business as usual? Martin Donarski, ICCO project manager, reflects on the situation.

Martin Donarski

Photo: Martin Donarski

What impact do you see?

We have not yet observed any real negative impact on either chain but all depends on how long the crisis will persist.

Can you do a forecast?

Well, positive for the local producers could be that competition with imports of onions from the Netherlands and Morocco and fish from China and Senegal decreases. Any disruption in the logistics import supply chain could provoke shortages of imported goods therefore better prices for local production. But local producers are unlikely to rise sufficiently so in the end consumers would face higher prices.

And possible negative effects?

Negative or not yet known effects for local producers could be a higher price and less availability of imported inputs such as fertilizer and hybrid seed varieties for onion production. I don’t see logistics or market access constraints yet. Movements of goods between the regions have not yet been encountering major problems.

Mali is in a lockdown. Is the project implementation being distorted by that?

Our implementation partners and extension agents can still follow most of the producers in the field on one to one basis. The delivery of key inputs (fingerlings) to fish producers continues while strict protection measures are in place. Each occasion we provide information to local communities on social distinction and sanitary measures linked to the pandemic. Our activities in the north of Mali are on stand-by, due to flight restrictions. The 2020 potato program may have to be postponed due to the inability of our technical staff to travel to the region.