Mali - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors
Last published date:


Agricultural activities represent approximately 33 percent of Mali’s GDP and employ nearly 80 percent of Malians.  Mali has important and underexploited agricultural potential, especially in the southern and central regions.  The Niger River Authority (Office du Niger), a state-owned enterprise, manages about 127,000 hectares of organized agricultural land, primarily through governing land transactions and water management.  The state encourages foreign and national private investors to undertake agricultural activities in the Office du Niger’s lands.  The Malian government dedicates around 12 percent of its national budget to the agricultural sector and subsidizes the cotton.  Despite some investment opportunities, Malian agriculture is highly vulnerable to erratic rainfall and fluctuating commodity prices.

Table: Total Market Size for Agricultural Sectors





2021 estimated

Total Cereals Production





Food Imports

342.5** ($614.6 million)

351.9** ($606.7 million)

334** ($580.8 million)

395** ($724.5 million)

Cotton Exports

270.8** ($485.9 million)

231.4** ($395.0 million)

151** ($262.6 million)

271** ($497 million)

*Production in tons
**Figures in billion CFA

Leading Sub-Sectors

Agricultural production in Mali is largely dominated by cotton and grains, including rice, corn, millet, sorghum, and wheat.  Many agricultural sub-sectors, such as shea butter, mangoes, peanuts, cashews, and biofuels, remain largely underexploited and provide a unique opportunity for investors.  Significant opportunities also exist in modernizing Mali’s poultry and livestock production and transformation sectors.


There are opportunities in agricultural machinery, fertilizers, agribusiness, farming, irrigation tools, livestock, poultry, and animal feed.  The government’s aim to modernize and equip the agricultural sector may also provide business opportunities.