A MALIAN ENTREPRENEUR ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE FARMER LOSSES IN HIS COUNTRY BY HELPING PRIVATIVE THE RICE INDUSTRY.
Aspen, Colo. — At last year’s World Food Prize, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, presented on the state of the African agriculture industry. He repeatedly said, “We need to see agriculture in Africa as a business. That is the only way it will grow.”
Seeing agriculture as a charitable activity to alleviate poverty, he claimed, has not worked. In some African countries, up to 80 percent of the population works in food production. Despite this, under-nutrition is still responsible for an annual 3.5 million child deaths across the continent.
Adesina’s sentiment is making its way around Africa, with entrepreneurs in all corners working to change the face of agriculture. Four years ago, Malian Salif Niang co-founded Malo SARL, to bring the private sector into the country’s rice industry, which has historically been run by the government. Rice is a staple crop in the western African nation, but up to 50 percent of its harvest is lost before reaching consumers, due to poor post-harvest options. Niang works with 30,000…