Mali: Beyond Cotton? Searching for "Green Gold" [E-Book] / Yoshiko Matsumoto-Izadifar
Matsumoto-Izadifar, Yoshiko.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2009
19 p.
Full Text
The Malian economy faces the challenge of reducing its over-dependence on cotton and gold. In order to do so, a search for "green gold" — commercial agriculture beyond cotton — is underway. Mali has started to exploit export market opportunities for horticulture products in Europe as well as in neighbouring countries. Moreover, the country is currently testing the introduction of domestic wheat production for local processing. Although donors are increasingly supporting the development of these new agricultural products, the reform of the cotton sector continues to receive their special attention. Moreover, certain agricultural sub-sectors such as livestock and fishing receive only limited support. The development of a vibrant private sector in agriculture requires further improvements in government policies and donor support, but also more active private sector participation. The government should re-engage in agricultural diversification, and donors should strive to increase the sustainability of their interventions. To this end, greater co-ordination between donors and government is needed in tandem with strengthening the capacity of the local private actors. The study highlights progress towards better donor co-ordination in agriculture and encouraging results, especially with respect to facilitating access to credit for farmers and fostering producers’ organisations. At the same time, it argues that there remains ample room for improvement. Donors tend to crowd in certain segments of the agricultural value chain and to specialise in specific export crops (e.g. the mango sector where 12 donors are currently operating) at the expense of some other important areas, which require additional support (e.g. livestock, transport infrastructure and logistics). A more balanced and coherent approach is warranted.