Causes and Consequences of Increasing Herbicide Use in Mali

Steven Haggblade, Melinda Smale, Alpha Kergna, Veronique Thériault and Amidou Assima. 2016. Causes and Consequences of Increasing Herbicide Use in Mali. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 20. East Lansing: Michigan State University

  • Herbicide markets have grown rapidly in Mali without any public subsidies.
  • Since 2000, quantities imported have doubled, while prices have fallen in half.
  • Herbicides control weeds at half the cost of hand weeding, leading to high rates of adoption by both men and women farmers.
Three key policy findings emerge:
    1. Importance of regional input standards (eg. pesticide regulation through the Comité Sahelien des Pesticides)
    2. Rethinking input subsidies: highly productive, profitable inputs don’t necessarily require subsidy.
    3. High rates of herbicide counterfeiting require improved monitoring of quality, safety and environmental impact.

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