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Analysis of agrarian systems in the past and at present in a village of the Kita region in Mali

The region of Kita lies in the former groundnut basin of Mali, but the collapse of world prices in the early 1980s made groundnuts an unprofi table cash crop. Since 1995, the Mali Textile Development Corporation (CMDT) has used the region of Kita to grow cotton, another cash crop.

This article presents an analysis of past and present land-use systems in a village of the region. Various surveys were conducted between March and July of 1998, which have contributed to understanding the historical background of the successive land-use systems in the past, and describing the structure and functioning of the present-day system.

Distinct production systems may be observed, differentiated on the one hand by the production methods available to the farm holdings, and on the other by the production combinations employed. These two distinguishing factors enable a classification of holdings according to type, in which four production systems have been identified. This classification, along with its accompanying economic analysis, gives an overall picture of the land-use system and reveals the current trend towards increasingly diverse agricultural development.

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