Strengthening the success of Mali’s rice

Strengthening the success of Mali’s rice

We want Malian farmers to be able to compete with imported rice, which - for the moment being - has nicer packages, looks cleaner, and is cheaper.


Mali is the second rice producer in West Africa, after Nigeria. About 190.000 family farms are involved. Over the last 50 years, annual rice consumption has increased with over 600% (INSAT), so rice has become the basic food in Mali.

From an economic point of view, rice is a strategic crop for Mali, in terms of job creation and income generation for a growing number of producers. The Malian rice growers are capable of covering 93% of the country’s rice need. Despite this situation, the Malian market continues to import rice, because the locally produced rice is still not competitive enough; the imported rice is sold at a lower price, and is of an irreproachable physical presentation. As a consequence, the Malian producers have difficulties to compete with their production: they benefit little from remunerative prices.

The ideal situation would be that local rice is found in urban markets, with the quality requested and at reasonable prices; that value chains are performing well and with good governance for the players. This is hardly the case in Mali. The quality of the rice is affected by the presence of impurities (little pebbles and other impurities), and of a high level of broken grains. The locally produced rice is also badly presented up to now. On the commercial level, business relations between the players are informal and ad hoc.


  • Supporting Malian rice growers to reconquer their market by improving the quality of their produce;
  • Engaging large importing traders in local rice: getting rice farmers and traders / distributors of the urban and institutional markets to build more sustainable and inclusive formal relations, which will facilitate regular rice supply and secure producers’ incomes;
  • Improving the governance of the rice sector: inter-profession of rice in Mali is very young: it has been implemented in 2016. It needs support to function correctly and to really play its role: quality control for the definition of rice production standards, sharing of margins between the players, being a dialogue space of reference on sector policies etc.;
  • Urging authorities to prioritize local rice to satisfy the needs of the Malian population;
  • Creating value and profit for all the players in the value chain

Our strategies

To achieve the structural change desired by Mali’s rice sector, Rikolto’s strategy will consist in:

  • Supporting farmers' organisations (ARPASO, PNPRM) to get better organised to meet the requirements (quality, food safety, regular supply) of the (real and institutional) markets, and thus better position themselves on these markets;
  • Supporting these organisations to strenghten their business capacities: management, bookkeeping, marketing, internal processes etc.
  • Supporting the newly created rice inter-profession, where all value chain actors are represented, to better organize themselves and develop inclusive and sustainable business relations between its members;
  • Supporting the inter-profession in being a dialogue space of reference on the rice sector policies;
  • Supporting the actions of PNPRM and of the Inter-profession in favour of institutional rice purchases to build a national safety stock on the one hand, and the actions for rice import regulation in function of the rice locally available on the other hand. Therefore, we will facilitate multi-stakeholder processes to get everyone around the table and build a common vision.

Who do we work with and for?

Over 20,000 family farmers (m/f) will benefit from this project, through their membership of the rice farmers organisations. If we manag to achieve policy changes, this will affect about 190,000 rice farms.

Intervention zone