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The purpose of this chapter is to analyze how Malian traders of coarse grains (millet, maize, and sorghum) have reacted to the cereals market reforms since 1981. The focus is on the coarse grains trade because these cereals historically have comprised the majority of the cereals consumed by Malians and because the response of the rice sector to the reforms is discussed elsewhere in this book (Diarra and Staatz 1999; Dimithè 1999). Dioné (this volume) discusses coarse-grain farmers' response to the reforms, so that topic is only discussed briefly here. The chapter draws heavily on a large body of research carried out by Malian, North American and European researchers since 1985 and on a recent evaluation of the PRMC in which the authors participated (Dembélé, Traoré, and Staatz 1999; Shields, Staatz, and Dembélé 1999; Egg, 1999).


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