One Woman’s Success Means Thousands Can Eat

 Mali - Economic Growth - Woman Entrepreneur - Seed production
Maimouna Sidibé Coulibaly, founder and owner of Faso Kaba, a seed company in Mali.
As a small seed company grows, so does Mali's food security
“My business has been an opportunity to improve others."

One woman’s dream to help feed her home country is becoming a reality. What started as a home-based business selling small amounts of seeds to neighboring farmers has sprouted into a leading seed company that is advancing food security in Mali.

After nearly 20 years of work in the seed sector, Maimouna Sidibé Coulibaly established Faso Kaba Seed Company in 2007.  “Faso Kaba” roughly translates to "motherland corn” - fitting for a company that now produces and sells enough seed to feed approximately half a million Malians each year. In a country where one out of five households face some level of food insecurity and 10 percent are severely food insecure, USAID and other donors have supported Coulibaly as part of a critical effort to increase farmers’ access to high quality seed – which can and does change the lives of thousands of Malian families.

USAID, through its Farmer to Farmer Program, part of the U.S. Government's flagship Feed the Future Initiative, agreed to further support Faso Kaba by strengthening its technical capacity and operations. Since the company started better using its new equipment and adopting USAID's technical and management recommendations, it has become more efficient and quality has improved.  In 2012, Faso Kaba produced and sold ten times more what the company sold when it first started.

Faso Kaba is part of a network of 20 Malian seed companies working together to ensure that affordable, quality seed is available to help feed Malian families. These network linkages are key to the overall success of the seed value chain. 

As a result of USAID’s support to Faso Kaba and to other businesses, this network is now strengthened. “My business has been an opportunity to improve others," says Coulibaly. "With this new collaboration, these other organizations are now vibrant!”