Mali’s key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country’s largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and Ivory Coast. During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced in Mali but cotton prices declined significantly in 2003.
In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops. Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to 80% of Mali’s exports.
Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture. 15 percent of Malian workers are employed in the service sector. Seasonal variations lead to regular temporary unemployment of agricultural workers.