Investing in West-Africa is not for the faint-hearted. Risks are serious. But so are the business opportunities. Especially for agriculture.

Mali assigns 15% of the national budget to agriculture. This is far above the 10% as recommended in the Maputo-declaration, that most African states don’t even reach. And it is the same amount that is allocated to safety.

Moussa Ismaila Toure proudly presents those figures. The general manager of API Mali, the Investment Promotion Agency, is very eager to convince companies to come and invest in Mali. He even invites journalists to come over and show them the opportunities of his country. “We have so many opportunities. All we need are the right players in this country.”

Mali is in the center of West-Afrika. It is part of the economic union Ecowas and, as most of those countries, it needs investors in all sectors. Most important, above energy, infrastructure and telecom, are agriculture and livestock, Toure emphasises.

Jihadism and mafia

Marc van der Sterren is agrarisch journalist en blogger voor Farming Africa. Hij is breed geïnteresseerd en schrijft over alles. Als hij zich niet in kan houden ook columns. Hij werkt vooral voor vakbladen en beschrijft het wereldtoneel van de landbouw. Van Europa tot Afrika.Œ De productie van voedsel is nu eenmaal een internationale aangelegenheid en een eerste levensbehoefte vol politieke en maatschappelijke controverses. Landbouw is spannend!