After many years of poverty and neglect, Mali is today faced with a unique opportunity to develop its rural economy. The rapid expansion of demand for beef in some of the coastal regions of West Africa has recently caught up with the available supply from the interior, and cattle prices have increased dramatically. This price rise has been accentuated by the effects of recent drought which seriously depleted the herds. Consequently, there is enormous incentive for interior regions to find new ways of increasing production which, at the same time, take pressure off their overburdened range-lands. Mali is fortunate in having a resource endowment which has considerable potential in this respect.
* Associate Professor of International Economic Relations, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. For a more detailed treatment of the Malian cattle industry, see J. Dirck Stryker, ‘Livestock Production and Distribution in the Malian Economy’, a report prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, dated 20 August 1973. Copies of this report in either French or English areavailable from the author on request.