Note sur la problématique d’approvisionnement des céréales au Mali

Food security has been a major component of the development policies in Mali since the independence in 1960. The Malian government has adopted several cereal supply strategies since 1960. First, the government tried interventionist policies from 1960 to 1980. The government set prices and provided inputs and credits to producers. The goal was to supply urban areas with cheap cereal and, at the same time, encourage producers to produce more. The Mali Agricultural Products Office (OPAM) had the official monopoly on the cereal business, as it collected cereal from producers, who were grouped into cooperatives, and distributed it throughout the country. However, this strategy turned out to be a failure, as production decreased and OPAM’s deficits grew. Producers were penalized, as prices were not high enough to cover their production costs. Hence, Mali went from being a major exporter to an importer of cereals. The government next decided to proceed with liberalizing the market, which developed into an effective strategy of cereal supply. There is now a more competitive cereal market, both in the national and regional markets. The role of the OPAM is limited to the management of the national food security stock and of food aid. The intervention of NGOs for emergency relief now focuses on buying and distributing food or organizing food-for-work programs. Now, prices are no longer stable, but depend on the supply and demand relationship in the market. In real terms, prices are lower now compared to the period prior to the liberalization (reflecting decreases in the cost of marketing). Nevertheless, recent price increases prevent some consumers from meeting their full needs, since their purchasing power is so low. Currently, access to food still remains a challenge. There are several problems: the competition in the redistribution markets between national and regional demands bids up prices for local consumers, the low buying power of consumers with low income, the bad quality of roads which makes distribution difficult to isolated areas, and the fluctuation of the supply due to weather instability. As a consequence, the government frequently has to deal with food crisis. This year’s deficit [2005] was due to a rainfall shortage and locust invasion. For the years ahead, several strategies need to be considered These include a pulling together of the different supply structures; creation of consumers’ cooperatives so as to reduce the burden of prices fluctuation; creation of cereal banks in the deficit zones, assistance to producers in managing their surpluses in years of good production; construction of roads to ease distribution; finally, boosting of irrigation and introducing techniques of water harvesting.

Variant title:
Note about the problem of cereal supply in Mali
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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
Présidence de la République Commissariat à la Sécurité Alimentaire (CSA); USAID; APCAM/MSU/USAID Projet de Mobilisation des Initiatives en matière de Sécurité Alimentaire au Mali (PROMISAM); APCAM/MSU/USAID Projet de Mobilisation des Initiatives en matière de Sécurité Alimentaire au Mali (PROMISAM); APCAM/MSU/USAID Projet de Mobilisation des Initiatives en matière de Sécurité Alimentaire au Mali (PROMISAM)
Series Statement:
PROMISAM Document de Travail

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-05-27

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