The Impact of Conflict and Political Instability on Agricultural Investments in Mali and Nigeria
This paper specifically analyzes the cases of ongoing violence in Mali and Nigeria that continue to undermine agricultural productivity and investment. At the outset, it needs to be noted that these two conflicts—despite sharing similar jihadist elements—are very different from one another. Each conflict involves a unique set of actors and circumstances that have affected the countries differently and produced distinct possibilities for the trajectory of future conflict. Four common challenges were experienced by all segments of the crop, livestock and agricultural services value chains during these periods in both countries: 1. Reduced human mobility: People across all value chains feared movement outside protected areas because of attacks by insurgents. Both traders and consumers limited their movements to markets due to intermittent attacks. In some cases, the fear of attack displaced people outside the conflict zone, further reducing labor pools. 2. Reduced access to inputs and markets: As a result of reduced mobility, the various actors in the agricultural value chain experienced a reduction in both the supply of inputs (fertilizer, herbicides, gasoline and seeds) and in access to consumers (demand). 3. Increased theft of cash, products and equipment: The agriculture sector became a target for insurgents in need of cash and food. 4. Increased prices for transportation, inputs and products: The reduction in the mobility of all value chain members and the decrease in supply increased the prices for transportation and farm inputs, and in turn of agricultural products.