Agriculture and food in Mali

Mali agriculture statistics

Number of agricultural advertisements in Mali:1 ads
Number of agricultural events in Mali:0 events
Number of agricultural companies in Mali:32 companies

Mali agriculture, farming and food

Agriculture in Mali

Mali is landlocked country - one of the largest in West Africa. It is located between 10° to 25° north latitude and has 20,2 million people population. Its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert. The country's southern part is in the Sudanian savanna, where the majority of inhabitants live, and both the Niger and Senegal rivers pass through. Considered the breadbasket of West Africa, Mali is divided into four climatic zones along the north-south gradient:

-  Sahara climate in the north, occupies 2/3 of the country, with rainfall from 50 to 250 mm per year. The economy is essentially based on nomadic-grazing. Farmers grow very early maturing millet and water receding and pond sorghum in a "Acacia albida agro system."
- The Sahelian climate (centre of the country) has average annual rainfall from 400-600 mm.
- The Soudanian climate (South of the country) has average annual rainfall from 700-900 mm.
- In the far South of the country is a zone with the Soudano-Guinean climate with rainfall from 1000
-1200 mm.

Rainfed crop production is practiced in all but the Sahara zone. Rainfall is uni-modal with the main part centered around August.

Arable land (% of land area) in Mali was reported at 5.2541 % in 2018, according to the World Bank . Soils in arable regions are tropical ferruginous with textural differences, ranging from sandy, sandy loam, clay to clay loamy with more or less yellow coloration. Soil depths and topo-sequences vary from one place to another. In general, soils are very low in nitrogen and phosphorus.

Mali’s population sustains itself on small-scale, rainfed subsistence agriculture and pastoralism. Almost 63% of active labour force relied on agriculture – as of 2020 statistics. The agricultural sector is characterized by a predominance of cotton as a cash crop, while rice and coarse grains (maize, millet and sorghum) constitute the main food crops. Cereals represent more than two-thirds of the country’s dietary energy supply. Mali is a net exporter of cotton and livestock and a net importer of rice.
Rice production is found virtually throughout Mali, except in the true desert areas. The Niger river and its affluents are the basis of a variety of larger-scale schemes, but also supply the majority of smallholder rice. The Inland Delta, a large seasonally flooded region, located approximately between Ségou and Timbuktu has been a centre of rice cultivation, for thousands of years and is also a major centre for diversity of rice germplasm. However, the various lakes distributed around the subdesertic region as well as valley bottoms throughout southern Mali also encompass small-scale cultivation. Millet and sorghum are cultivated mainly in the areas around Ségou, Bandiagara, and Nioro. Paddy rice is cultivated on irrigated farms in the area around Mopti, Ségou, and Niafounké. Cereals are produced for subsistence by 90% of farmers. Peanuts are grown in the Sudanese zone, as are cotton, fruits, vegetables, and henna.

The shea tree nut, which grows wild, is exploited by Malians for its oil. Mali is the world's second-largest producer of the shea nut, and accounts for approximately 20 percent of the global supply of shea. Shea butter is used as a cocoa butter equivalent in cosmetics and in the food industry.  But a lack of technology and modern industry means that Mali produces virtually no industrial shea butter. Most of Mali’s shea nuts are sold raw or processed locally into low-quality artisanal shea butter, keeping the country on the fringes of the lucrative and fast-growing industrial shea butter market. Vitellaria paradoxa (formerly Butyrospermum parkii), commonly known as shea tree, It is the only species in the genus Vitellaria, and is indigenous to Africa. The shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp that surrounds a relatively large, oil-rich seed from which shea butter is extracted. It is a deciduous tree usually 7–15 m tall, but has reached 25 m and a trunk.

Livestock in Mali

Livestock is one of Mali’s core economic sectors; approximately 85 percent of Malians own ruminant livestock. Mali is a major exporter of livestock throughout the Sahel region and livestock trade contributes about 1/5 of the country’s GDP. Due to its geographical location and its national relevance as Mali’s capital, Bamako serves as a central trade hub for goods traded both within the country and in the sub-region.

The importance of Ségou, Mopti, and to a lesser extent Sikasso for livestock trade can be explained by their high number of livestock markets, allowing livestock aggregation and movement. Ségou’s role also reflects its major road connection to Bamako, making it a reliable trade corridor. Additionally, the city is in a region of Mali with large irrigation schemes making crop residues a readily available feed resource for livestock in an otherwise semi-arid region. Mopti is a dominant source of cattle because of its large grazing areas which also make it a popular route for transhumance. Large grazing areas are promoted by the hydrology of Mopti, with the presence of the Niger and the Bani rivers as well as the many connecting lakes which provide drinking water to the livestock herd during the dry season.

Senegal and Guinea are major importers of livestock from Mali. A possible reason for this is the dominance of Islam in both countries. As already mentioned, Islamic festivals provide a strong sink for livestock in West Africa. Nevertheless, Guinea is also a transit location for livestock supply to Sierra Leone and Liberia contributing to the large outflows from Mali.

Forestry industry in Mali

The forestry sector is fundamental to the national economy. It satisfies 93 % of the country’s domestic energy needs. Mali’s forested zones are used as valuable agricultural land banks for the extension of subsistence and cash crops. Productive forests occur mainly south and west of the country (Sudano -Guinean, Guinean zones). They consist of open woodland, riparian forests, tree/shrub savannahs. Standing volumes range from 10 -100 m3/ha from north to south. Mean annual increments/ha vary from 0,3-0,4 m3 in the Sahelian zone, to 0 ,5-1,0 m3 in the Sudanese zone, and 1 -2 m3/ in the Guinean zone. Man-made village forests amount to 40 000 ha and 4 000 km of linear plantings. Trees outside forests contribute non-wood forest products; they are found in agroforestry parklands, fruit orchards and village and urban forests.

Below list of other examples of products including:
- medicinal plants, forest fruits and diverse raw,
- materials that contribute to the handicrafts indus try and to improving rural livelihood conditions,
- Gum Arabic whose production amounts to 2 100 tons annually,
- Honey, with a traditiona l production of 190 tons/year,
- The “Néré” (Parkia biglobosa) fruits, the baobab (Adansonia digitata) leaves, doum palm etc,
Forage and fodder.

Fish industry in Mali

Unlike the Malian livestock sector, which has a mixed record of performance due to weather constraints and diseases, the fish subsector is expected to sustainably improve Mali’s food security and reduce poverty levels, especially in rural regions. Mali’s fish production, especially at the three principal fish production zones of the central delta of the Niger River and the two artificial lakes of Lake Sélingué and Lake Manantali, was at one time estimated at between 70,000 and 150,000 metric tons by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

149 535 people were reported in 2017 as engaged in full-time inland waters fishing, with 14% women. In 2016 an estimated 53 259 boats were all under 6 m length overall with only 2 662 unpowered boats.

Aquaculture is underdeveloped and occupies a negligible place in the national economy, employing close 2 733 according to 2017 figures. Aquaculture is essentially limited to subsistence fish farming of Nile tilapia and North African catfish, especially in ponds. Aquaculture production was about 3900 tonnes in 2017.

Agricultural and food classified in Mali

Agricultural advertisements in Mali, buy and sell classified ads. Agricultural products in Mali, buyers, sellers, importers and exporters: fruits, vegetables, fishes, herbs, aquaculture, spices, grains and cereals, flowers, plants, meat and poultry, dairy and eggs, processed food, farm land for sale and more.

Agricultural companies in Mali

Mali: agricultural machinery companies, food producer, farms, investment companies, agribusiness companies, rural services, agri commodities.




Wayerma I - Rue 64 Avenu Mamadou Konaté00223 Sikasso


Rue 108 Calaban Coura Bamako Mali


Zone Industrielle

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