Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 507–529 | Cite as

Unlocking Market Potential of Agroforestry Products Among Smallholder Farmers in the Sahelian and Sudanian Ecozone Countries of West Africa

  • Joachim N. Binam
  • Judith Oduol
  • Frank Place
  • Antoine Kalinganire
Research Paper


In the Sahelian countries, gathering of agroforestry tree products is one of the few livelihood activities that hold great potential for income generation and poverty reduction among resource-poor households. This study explores the determinants of market participation and selling decisions, which are key prerequisites for sustainable intensification and commercialization of the rural economy. A commercialized economy provides invaluable opportunities for smallholder farmers to increase their income and escape from poverty traps that are faced by most rural households in the Sahel. The results from a cross-sectional sample of 1080 households drawn from four Sahelian countries, namely Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal, lend support to the relevance of three sets of variables in explaining agroforestry farmers’ participation in markets and selling decisions. Market participation and selling decisions are affected by predisposing, facilitating and reinforcing factors. In areas where markets for tree products are functioning well, long distances from the main markets do not deter agroforestry farmers from participating in markets and selling decisions. This demonstrates that other interventions to strengthen value chains and market integration can be successful even where transportation is more costly.


Market participation Sub-Saharan Africa Predisposing factors Facilitating factors Reinforcing factors 



The authors are grateful to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the Free University of Amsterdam, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) who provided financial support for this study. We are also highly indebted to the two anonymous reviewers and the editor who provided very insightful comments and suggestions that helped strengthen this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim N. Binam
    • 1
  • Judith Oduol
    • 2
  • Frank Place
    • 3
  • Antoine Kalinganire
    • 1
  1. 1.World Agroforestry Centre, WCA-Sahel NodeBamakoMali
  2. 2.World Agroforestry CentreNairobiKenya
  3. 3.International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)WashingtonUSA

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