Multi-scale governance in agriculture systems: Interplay between national and local institutions around the production dimension of food security in Mali

Sidibe, A and Totin, E and Thompson-Hall, M and Traore, O T and Traore, P C S and Olabisi, L S (2018) Multi-scale governance in agriculture systems: Interplay between national and local institutions around the production dimension of food security in Mali. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences (TSI), 84. pp. 94-102. ISSN 15735214

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Enforcement of rules and laws designed at the national level is still one of the dominant institutional mechanisms for effective multiscale governance in most countries. At times, such blanket regulations are not only unable to meet practical needs at local levels, but they may conflict with local institutional logics, thereby creating new challenges. This study looks at three institutional arrangements in the agriculture and food security sector in the district of Koutiala, Mali to analyse the institutional variety across scale and the underlying institutional logics. On one side, the Cooperative Law as well as the Seed Law both designed at national level to enable famers’ access to agriculture services and improved seeds have yielded mixed results with regard to anticipated outcomes. The cooperative law is believed to degrade the social cohesion and the mutual support on which vulnerable farmers rely when facing climatic and non-climatic risks whereas the new seed system is found onerous and unaffordable for farmers. On the other side, the local convention for the management of natural resources established as part of ongoing decentralised governance policy seems to resonate with local culture but challenged by other stakeholders. Through exploring these cases, this paper tests bricolage as an analytical framework for doing an institutional diagnostic. It aims at contributing to methodological and theoretical insights on the way sustainable institutions can be generated in conflicting institutional logics in the context of multi-scale governance.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Governance, Institutional change, Adaptation, Vulnerability, Agriculture systems, Food security, Mali, Institutional arrangements, Case studies
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Food Security
Others > African Agriculture
Others > Mali
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2018 08:26
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2018 09:22
Official URL:
Funders: Open Access funded by Department for International Development
Acknowledgement: This work was carried out under the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) consortium. ASSAR is one of four consortia under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. The views expressed in this work are those of the creators and do not necessarily represent those of the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the International Development Research Centre, Canada or its Board of Governors.
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