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Mali is Poised to be a Leader for DFS in West Africa

“Financial inclusion means economic empowerment, particularly for women, rural communities, and the poor. Financial services offered through electronic means, like mobile phones, are key contributors to that vision.” Paul Folmsbee, U.S. Ambassador to Mali, shared this in Bamako this past October. He was speaking before a workshop of 144 people on digital financial services (DFS) organized by USAID.

CARE’s Pathways to Empowerment

CARE’s Pathways program is based on the conviction that women farmers possess enormous potential to contribute to long-term food security for their families and substantially impact nutritional outcomes in sustainable ways.

Food Aid and Food Security in the Short and Long Run: Country Experience from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

This document, produced under a primer series on social safety nets, assesses the role of food aid in improving food availability and food access. It is based on a synthesis of experiences in four countries:  India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Zambia. It concludes that food aid does not have to create negative impacts, particularly if it is tied to the development of infrastructure that supports production and market linkages, avoids creating negative price effects for food producers, and reaches the food insecure.

Smallholder Commercialization: Processes, Determinants and Impact

This paper by the International Livestock Research Institute reviews the available literature on smallholder commercialization. Of particular interest, the paper discusses the arguments for smallholders to scale-up and commercialize existing food crops versus beginning to produce completely new crops specifically for sale. The production of high-value crops typically generates greater returns for producers, but also typically implies greater risks and barriers to entry. In general, commercialization is found to be positive for families, though the impacts vary.