Challenges posed by changes in livestock production in emerging food producing areas and demographic development and climate change require new approaches and responsibilities in the management of food chains. The increasingly recognized role of primary food producers requires the support of the scientific community to instruct effective approaches based on scientific data, tools, and expertise. Mali is an emerging food producing area, and this review covers (i) the dairy farming scenario and its environment, (ii) the role of dairy production in food security, including the greatly different animal rearing systems in the Sahel and tropical regions, (iii) risk management pillars as modern infrastructures, effective farmer organizations, and institutional systems to guarantee animal health and safety of products, and (iv) feasible interventions based on good practices and risk assessment at the farm level (e.g., sustainable use of fertilizers, feeds, veterinary drugs, and pesticides) to protect consumers from food safety hazards. Social innovation based on the empowerment of the primary food producers emerges as crucial for sustainable and safe food production. Sustainable policies should be supported by the mobilization of stakeholders of One Health, which is a science-based approach to linking human health and nutrition with the health and management of food producing animals and environmental safety. In the context of the complex, multifaceted scenario of Mali dairy production, this article presents how a cost-effective animal health and food safety scheme could be established in the dairy production chain. Because milk is a major commodity in this country, benefits could be derived in food security, public health, the resilience of the farming system, animal husbandry, and international trade.