Rice farmers’ organisations access a significant share of Mali’s institutional markets

Rice farmers’ organisations access a significant share of Mali’s institutional markets

Malian rice farmers are organising themselves to benefit better from institutional rice purchases.


Rice has become a major foodstuff in Mali, with an annual consumption that increased from 13 kg / person / year in 1960 to 97 kg / person / year in 2017. It currently represents 30% of the total grains produced. Around 190,000 family farms cultivate rice.

L’Initiative Riz (The Rice Initiative), implemented by the government in 2008, was perceived by authorities and producers as a great innovation to promote the rice sector. However, it failed to place sufficient emphasis on the commercialisation of production. The increased production and productivity did not translate into a significant improvement in farmers’ incomes. The disorganisation of the market has led to selling shifting from producers to traders who are generally not genuinely concerned about improving the living conditions of producers.

To support the commercialisation of local rice, the government decided to purchase 25,000 tonnes of rice to rebuild the share of white rice in the national intervention stock. It opened 50% of this market to farmers’ organisations. They purchased rice through the CSA/OPAM (Food Security Committee / Office of Agricultural Products of Mali).

The PNPR-M (the National Platform of Rice Farmers in Mali) has set itself the following tasks to participate in the experiment:

  • supporting rice growers at the level of production basins, to prepare offers of substantial stocks meeting the government’s standards and purchasing criteria.

  • advocating to formalise this initiative.

The initial interesting results ....

The first institutional purchasing operation made it possible to sell off all farmer stocks and obtain good prices. All farmers, whether or not they were involved in the purchases, gained significant benefits such as purchasing prices for the farmers varying between 300 to 325 CFA (€0.46 to €0.50) in all the rice production areas against an average price of 265 CFA (€0.40). The farmers got these prices, even without the institutional purchasing operation.

Farmers’ organisations mobilised 1,458,123,500 CFA (€2,222,776.29) during the 2014-2015 harvest and 1,461,175,000 CFA (€2,227,428.03) during the 2015-2016 harvest.

A strategic partnership has been established between the PNPR-M, the CSA and the other institutional actors involved.

... But major obstacles were encountered

Despite the achievements, constraints have been encountered, including:

  • the inadequate payment system set up by the OPAM (Mali Agricultural Products Office). This system paid the farmers each time 3,000 tonnes were delivered,

  • the lack of cooperation between the actors,

  • the lack of working capital available for farmers’ organisations to build up stocks, which is the result of banks not being involved,

  • non-compliance with contractual clauses by certain farmers’ organisations,

  • the weak involvement of the PNPR-M at the start of the operation. This was due to the CSA/OPAM that did not make it possible to negotiate the contractual clauses to the advantage of the farmers.

In addition, the absence of an effective strategy for destocking stocks made by OPAM, and the uncontrolled importation of rice, set back the market entry of stocks that had been built up. This situation led OPAM to suspend the operation during the 2016-2017 harvest.

The project is implemented to support the actors concerned about finding suitable solutions to each challenge mentioned above.

It is part of the 2017-2021 programme to support rice competitiveness in West Africa, implemented by Rikolto in Mali. In particular, in the intervention: "Institutionalising the purchase of local rice".


  • Better organisation of the offers in the production areas: currently the farmers’ organisations are unable to give exact statistics of the stocks available, or where to find them;

  • Finding a sustainable solution to the financing of the project with a view to its sustainability: due to the lack of involvement of the banks, the farmers’ organisations were unable to obtain the necessary funds to proceed with the collection of members' products during the test phase;

  • Defining and implementing a more effective destocking strategy for the quantities held by OPAM;

  • The operation deserves to be formalised so that it ultimately constitutes a good lever for access to the farmers’ organisation market.


  • Strengthen the positioning of the Platform of Rice Farmers’ Organisations as an actor at the centre of the institutional purchasing mechanism in Mali. Support for the PNPR-M to better coordinate the participation of farmers’ organisations in the purchasing programme institutionalisation. This entails the formation or dissolution, and the selection of participating farmers’ organisations, as well as support in negotiations of contracts and in advocacy in favour of the formalisation of the initiative. Create a levy system to finance the services provided to members, motivate school canteens and military barracks to obtain supplies from the OPAM and, by doing so, facilitate the removal of rice that is already stored.

  • Support the digitisation of data collection and monitoring of farmers’ organisation stocks in production basins: collecting reliable information on time from farmers’ organisations is essential for the success of the operation. Reliable data facilitates negotiations between farmers’ organisations and their clients. Rikolto will support PNPR-M to set up a reliable and rapid system for collecting, processing and storing data, which will be used in negotiations and decision-making.

  • Support the establishment of banking cooperation to allow farmers’ organisations to access credit in time to build up their stocks: the test phases have shown that timely access to credit is essential for the success of the institutional purchasing operation by farmers’ organisations. Rikolto will support the constitution of banking cooperation to support the establishment of a sustainable financing mechanism for the farmers’ organisation initiative.

Rikolto's role

  • facilitate the contracting of the farmers’ organisation with its customers;

  • support the mobilisation of financial institutions;

  • facilitate strategic thinking for the orientation of project actions;

  • support for PNPR-M advocacy;

  • support for creating a digital system that collects statistics from PNPR-M members;

  • facilitate multi-actor processes;

  • coordinate the project through the organisation of monitoring and evaluation, and of capitalisation and reporting.

Intervention zone

Country: Mali Regions of Ségou, Sikasso, Mopti

Project duration

30 months: 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2020

Target Groups

  • 20,000 smallholders grouped within 200 organisations of farmers who are members of 16 umbrella organisations

  • 103,993 consumers

  • 16 processing units belonging to farmers’ organisations or private individuals

Expected Results

  • The interests of farmers’ organisations are better taken into account in contracts offered by OPAM and other institutional buyers.

  • The umbrella organisation has become more credible in the eyes of other actors.

  • The umbrella organisation and its members are better equipped to negotiate the sale of their products.

  • The supply and demand for local rice has increased.

  • Purchasing has been institutionalised.

This will result in the following facts:

  • Farmers’ organisations have a market share of 70% of the total institutional purchasing market.

  • 100% of the contracts of farmers’ organisations involved in the institutional purchase operation have been successfully completed.

  • 10,000 tonnes of rice have been sold by farmers’ organisations through institutional purchasing contracts.

  • 80% of the working capital needs of farmers’ organisations involved in institutional purchasing are satisfied.

  • the government makes an administrative act establishing the institutional purchase of local rice from farmers’ organisations.

  • The PNPR-M adopts and applies a refunding system.

The interests of farmers’ organisations are better taken into account in contracts offered by OPAM and other institutional buyers.

The share of farmers’ organisations in the institutional purchasing operation compared to the overall offer rose from 25% in early 2017 to 70% in 2019. Out of 5,000 tonnes to be supplied by IFRIZ (The Interprofessional Rice Sector) to OPAM, farmers’ organisations have supplied 3,500 tonnes in total during the 2018-2019 campaign.

The umbrella organisation has become a more credible actor in the eyes of other actors.

100% of the contracts of farmers' organisations involved in the institutional purchase operation were completed at the end of the 2018-2019 harvest, already reaching the foreseen target of 90%, set at the end of the project.

The umbrella organisation and its members are better equipped to negotiate the sale of their production

3,500 tonnes of rice were sold by farmers’ organisations through institutional purchase contracts against an expected start of 6,200 tonnes at the end of the 2018-2019 season.

The difference is explained by the fact that the OPAM only granted the interprofessional organisation a contract of 5,000 tonnes which was distributed between the actors of the different links. The farmers’ organisations were assigned 3,000 tonnes and the traders 2,000 tonnes. Due to a delay by the traders, the farmers’ organisations obtained 500 tonnes in addition to the initial 3,000 tonnes.

The supply of and demand for local rice has increased

Purchasing is institutionalised

A strategy for mobilising banks to be part of a banking cooperation was created in 2017.

With a forecast of 60% of the farmers’ organisations mobilising their working capital, it turned out only 30% of farmers’ organisations have been able to do so. However, the banking cooperation has not yet been set up.

This is because the contracts were signed post-harvest with an immediate 45-day reversal time. The time limit and the prices of rice in the production areas did not allow the constitution of banking cooperation to support the operations. In 2018, a business plan was created for IFRIZ that was considering the prices offered by the members of IFRIZ / PNPR-M and the prices accepted by the OPAM. But still, the banks' interest rates could not be covered.

PNPR-M (National Platform of Rice Farmers of Mali)

Contact person: Seydou KEITA Email: pnprmali [at] orangemali.net ; seydou_keita [at] yahoo.fr

PNPR-M (National Platform of Rice Farmers of Mali)

IFRIZ (Rice Sector Interprofessional)

The Rice Sector Interprofessional is a professional agricultural organisation with an associative character whose mission is to implement, in collaboration with the government, a policy of promotion of the "rice" sector based on a better organisation of production, conservation, processing, transport and commercialisation. Better organising the effective empowerment of the main actors.