Building an Effective Advocacy Movement for Sustainable and Equitable Agricultural Development in Africa Agricultural Policy Making in Mali

"The discussion above has shown that the disengagement of the state from the agricultural sector through “the imposition” of international financial institutions has negatively impacted the development of family farms. Other factors constraining the development of the smallholder sector include low literacy levels among the heads of the family farms, diversification into farm based income generating projects, an increase in the acquisition of land neighbouring smallholder areas and difficult access to agricultural technological innovations. More recently, an increase in climate variability has worsened the already precarious situation of family farms. Furthermore, there are challenges in the implementation of agricultural policies and it is imperative that the GoMal improves the institutional arrangements behind its decentralisation programme, to address the constraints regarding access to inputs, extension services and markets. Furthermore, this study found that although many of the organisations that were analysed state their main objective as the defense of the interests of smallholder agriculture, they do not have funds budgeted towards the actual advocacy/lobbying. This partially explains why they have mostly focused on producing reference documents to be used as advocacy/lobbying handbooks. These organisations also face a capacity constraint, most of the staff are often unaware of new technologies and techniques used for advocacy/lobbying."