Mali has a population of 20 million people on a total area of 1.24 million km². The gross domestic product per capita is 880 US dollars. 43% of the people live below the poverty line. Adding to the economic difficulties, instability has increased during the past few years, especially in the North.

The economy is largely based on agriculture, which offers huge opportunities: as reported by the FAO, the surface of pastureland is approximatively of 30 million hectares of which only one third is used, notably because of a lack of access to water and losses caused by trampling, fires or rangeland erosion.

Extremely affected by resource scarcity, the rural areas are also the ones where lives the vast majority of the population. 80 % of Mali’s inhabitants depend on livestock, which is constricted by diseases, lack of infrastructure in the matter of animal health and -production, the predominance of traditional husbandry systems, but also the limited capacity of both meat and milk production actors.

For the past ten years, one of the principal projects of VSF-Suisse has precisely been a complete milk supply chain in the area of Bamako to provide fresh milk to the population.

Key activities

  • Support family dairy farms in adopting better techniques to increase productivity (e.g. lickstones, adapted and adequate rationing, stabling and dairy cores).
  • Provide genetic improvement and preservation concepts for local cattle breeds (zebus) and local forage species (through nurseries).
  • Facilitate market links for local milk between production (farms), processing (mini-dairies) and marketing (marketing kits: kiosks, freezers and coolers).
  • Test innovations in agroecological production, through the assisted natural regeneration of pastoral areas and the production of “bokashi” compost and biopesticides.
  • Develop pastoral areas through improved pastoral hydraulic systems (SHPA) and adapted fodder production.


Present since: 2004

Number of current projects: 4

Number of staff: 5

Offices: Country Office in Bamako + one Field Office

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, supports programmes in this country.

Selection of current projects

Reference projects


Meet Boulabassi Coumaré from Mali

Meet Boulabassi Coumaré from Mali

Hi Boulabassi! Who are you and where do you come from? My name is Boulabassi Coumaré and I come from Mali. I was born in King in the rural commune of Falo, about 200 km east of Bamako At the age of seven, I moved away from my parents to attend public school in...

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Be the first to hear news about VSF-Suisse activities, receive insight into projects, get country updates, interesting stories and much more... We are happy to have you!
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.