(West Africa, 15 August 1983.)





During the most recent UN conference Mali’s food strategy was singled out for discussion.  Beginning in 1981, the strategy was intended to increase production and thus increase production, buy there has been no increase and production and just increased prices to consumers.  With Africa being the world’s largest recipient of food aid, increasing prices creates quite a dilemma.  Adding to the problem studies has shown that there are not enough profit margins for rural producers, because of the agricultural monopoly OPAM.  To help solve this dilemma the World Bank suggested that Mali break up the OPAM monopoly in order to bring private grain traders into the market by increasing producer prices to encourage farmers to grow more, which hopefully will put more money into the community.  Following the advice, OPAM’s share of the market has decreased from 30 percent to just 5 percent.  With OPAM no longer holding the monopoly, the theory being that private farmers would now be able to sell their grains at the official selling price, but farmers are no able to do so because of the lack of increased production, causing them to sell lower than the official selling price.  To worsen the situation there are no signs of production increasing, and farmers have agreed that there need to be more incentives to grow more because private farmers do not have the money to harvest at the crucial time, which would allow them to sell their grains at the official selling price.  Currently Mali is just one of thirty countries engaged in food strategy reviews and all have agrees that on the need to increase incentives to producers, but so far solutions have been successful. 



Summary by Ryan Michael McClure