MSU Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
The study used logistic regression models to identified factors associated with the adoption of "improved" varieties, herbicide and fertilizer. A quadratic regression model was used to determined factors affecting rice yields. Standard budgeting techniques are utilized to assess the profitability of bas-fond rice production systems, and economic budgets and policy analysis matrices are used to analyze their competitiveness.
The study identifies the major socio-demographic and agronomic characteristics of bas-fond rice production. In particular, farm-level data analysis indicates that 98 percent of the farmers manually plowed their rice fields and few farmers puddled their fields. Most farmers broadcast their seeds on mud (86%) and weeded at least once (91%). About 48 percent used herbicide and 42 percent used chemical fertilizer, predominantly on "improved" varieties.
Logistic regression outputs indicate that the presence of a water control infrastructure and the village experience in cotton production increase the likelihood that farmers will plant "improved" varieties. However, female farmers, small plot size and village distance to the closest market decrease this likelihood. Similarly, the presence of a water control infrastructure, the village experience in cotton production, and planting "improved" varieties increase the likelihood that farmers will adopt fertilizer application.
Bas-fond rice yields are low (1.2 mt/ha) and variable. Still, put together, all bas-fond rice production represents a significant contribution to domestic rice production. A linearilized quadratic regression equation identifies the major determinants of yield. Factors associated with higher yield included herbicide application, presence of water control infrastructure, and seeding rate. Insect attacks, water stress, weeding date after planting, and nitrogen x region interaction decreased yield.
The study identifies four most frequent bas-fond rice production systems and shows that all these systems are not only financially profitable, but they are also more profitable than the main upland crops (maize, cotton, and sorghum/millet) competing with rice for farmers' labor. In addition, economic analysis shows that Mali has a comparative advantage in producing rice in these bas-fond rice production systems and not in selected the intensive government irrigated schemes. Finally, the study recommends future research directions.