IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trading millet and sorghum genetic resources women vendors in the village fairs of San and Souentza, Mali:


  • Smale, Melinda
  • Diakité, Lamissa
  • Dembélé, Brahima
  • Traoré, Issa Seni
  • Guindo, Oumar
  • Konta, Bouréma


"In Mali, liberalization of seed markets for sorghum and millet, the staple food crops, has not advanced at the same rate or with the same measurable success as liberalization of grain markets. Most seed of these crops is uncertified and continues to be supplied to farmers by farmers, according to clan and ethno-linguistic group. After poor harvests or when replanting after a dry spell, farmers rely on local markets for grain as sources of seed. This paper summarizes the findings of a vendor survey conducted in two marketsheds during weekly fairs. No certified seed is sold. Almost all vendors are women who are also farmers. Variety integrity is maintained particularly for millet seed in the marketshed of the Sahelian zone, where the range of variety adaptation is very limited. Grain that is suitable for seed is brought to market directly from granaries. Varieties are identified by their provenance. Socially prescribed behavior is apparent in price-fixing, price discounts, procurement practices, and the spatial organization of vendors. Preliminary hypotheses are tested with a simple regression. Marketshed, which is highly correlated with the ethnic composition of the population, agro-ecology, market infrastructure and crop sold, has a dominant impact on quantities sold. Quantities sold do not respond to expected prices. Greater specialization of the vendor in trade as compared to farming, younger age, and additional years in school positively influence amounts sold. A better comprehension of this type of trade could contribute to policies that improve the access of poor farmers to valuable crop genetic resources, enhancing their seed security and productivity." from Author's Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Smale, Melinda & Diakité, Lamissa & Dembélé, Brahima & Traoré, Issa Seni & Guindo, Oumar & Konta, Bouréma, 2008. "Trading millet and sorghum genetic resources women vendors in the village fairs of San and Souentza, Mali:," IFPRI discussion papers 746, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:746

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dembele, Niama Nango & Staatz, John M., 1999. "The Impact Of Market Reform On Agricultural Transformation In Mali," Staff Papers 11717, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Diakité, Lamissa & Sidibé, Amadou & Smale, Melinda & Grum, Mikkel, 2008. "Seed value chains for Sorghum and Millet in Mali: A state-based system in transition," IFPRI discussion papers 749, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1997. "Invaluable Goods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 757-765, June.
    4. Matlon, Peter J., 1990. "Improving Productivity in Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Semi-Arid Africa," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 01.
    5. Nagarajan, Latha & Smale, Melinda, 2005. "Local seed systems and village-level determinants of millet crop diversity in marginal environments of India:," EPTD discussion papers 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Coomes, Oliver T. & McGuire, Shawn J. & Garine, Eric & Caillon, Sophie & McKey, Doyle & Demeulenaere, Elise & Jarvis, Devra & Aistara, Guntra & Barnaud, Adeline & Clouvel, Pascal & Emperaire, Laure & , 2015. "Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture? Four common misconceptions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 41-50.
    2. Nagarajan, Latha & Audi, Patrick & Jones, Richard, 2008. "Supply of pigeonpea genetic resources in local markets of Eastern Kenya:," IFPRI discussion papers 819, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Agricultural development; Informal sector; Seed markets; Traders; Landraces; Millet; Sorghum; Women; Biodiversity;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:746. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.