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World Bank, Washington, DC
2012-08-13T10:01:19Z | 2012-08-13T10:01:19Z | 1996-04

Located in the heart of Mali, the Office du Niger (ON) is one of the oldest and largest irrigation schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa. The French, who began the scheme in 1932, planned on developing about 1,000,000 hectares over a period of 50 years. The original objectives were to: 1) supply the French textile industry with a large share of its needs in cotton; and 2) significantly contribute to food security for the whole Sahelian region of the French Empire with a modern and commercial rice production system. In short, the ON had drained huge public resources with little result. From the mid-1970s, the ON focused sharply on developing the area into a major national and regional rice-producing resource.


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