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Innovation Opportunities in Mango production in Mali

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Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
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Background

Mali produces fruits including mangoes, green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes that have the advantage of being exported easily. The volume of mangoes produced is estimated at 575 000 tons per year. Mango production is an important socio-economic activity in Mali, providing employment in rural areas and income through exportation. The agro-ecology and the relatively low cost of labour required by mango enterprises provide the country a comparative advantage in mango production. This advantage is not effectively used by different actors in the mango value chain. This is due to lack of appropriate infrastructure and competencies to overcome the technical, commercial, financial, and legal challenges that should be overcome in order to develop a viable activity. The low volumes exported (below 10 percent of production) could be explained on national level by poor transportation and lack of a cool chain. Exportation by sea from Dakar or Conakry should be developed. The low volumes could also be explained by the traceability required for all fresh products at the risk of being denied entry into the European market. Poor funding and lack of irrigation water are also major constraints. Producers, collectors, and exporters face all these constraints.

At the international level, this low volume of exports could be explained by the increasing competition with other mango producers targeting the same markets; technical barriers; and by the high quality standards set by consumers. Thus, despite its high natural potential in mango production and efforts being made to increase exports, the mango sub-sector in Mali still performs dismally.

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