Many African governments responded to the dramatic increases in international and domestic grain prices of 2008 and 2009 through a mixture of trade policy changes and input/output market subsidies. In the case of Mali, the Government put in place a rice promotion program at the beginning of the 2008/09 production season. The program, called Initiative Riz (IR or Rice Initiative), made subsidized fertilizer available to rice producers nationwide with a particular focus on farmers in the Office du Niger, where roughly 50% of Mali’s rice is produced. The goal of the program was to increase domestic rice production by 50% over the 2007/08 level, thereby increasing marketable surpluses and putting downward pressure on cereal prices.


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