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Analysis of the Constraints to the Development of a Domestic Improved Seed Potato Industry in Mali


  • Diallo, Marthe


This paper outlines proposed research, using concepts of New Institutional Economics, to identify the factors constraining the emergence of a market for domestically produced improved seed potatoes in Mali. It uses the Principal –Agent model to outline how to investigate the feasibility of developing a domestic seed potato industry in Mali by applying the concepts of efficient contract designs and other institutional arrangements. This research will contribute to the literature on: (a) contract and institutional design in the context of asymmetric information and uncertainty typical of agricultural markets in low-income countries and (b) design of improved seed production systems, particularly for clonal crops, in developing countries. The Malian potato sub-sector has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years due to increasing domestic and regional demand. Despite the expansion, the production is constrained by the high cost of seed due to Mali’s total reliance on imported improved potato seeds. Recently, Dr. Bretaudeau and his research team at the school of agriculture at the University of Bamako have used tissue culture techniques to develop locally produced improved virus-free potato mini and micro tubers (potato seed) from the laboratory. In collaboration with researchers, farmers, input traders, and other actors involved in potatoes sub-sector, this research will help me investigate two hypotheses to respond the following question: what are the conditions necessary to go from this lab-based production to a local private-sector potato seed industry that would be competitive with the imported seed potatoes?

Suggested Citation

  • Diallo, Marthe, 2008. "Analysis of the Constraints to the Development of a Domestic Improved Seed Potato Industry in Mali," Graduate Research Masters Degree Plan B Papers 50351, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midagr:50351

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hueth, Brent & Ligon, Ethan & Wolf, Stephen & Wu, Steven, 1999. "Incentive Instruments in Agricultural Contracts: Input Control, Monitoring, Quality Measurement, and Price Risk," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5237, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243259.
    3. Brent Hueth & Ethan Ligon, 1999. "Producer Price Risk and Quality Measurement," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 512-524.
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    More about this item


    Principal-agent model; seed systems; Mali; agricultural technology development; input markets; contracting; potatoes; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; D82; L14; Q13; Q16;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services


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