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Land, Investment, and MigrationThirty-five Years of Village Life in Mali$
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Camilla Toulmin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198852766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198852766.001.0001

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From abundance to land scarcity

From abundance to land scarcity

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 From abundance to land scarcity
Source:
Land, Investment, and Migration
Author(s):

Camilla Toulmin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198852766.003.0004

How could the village of Dlonguébougou (DBG), which boasted abundant land in 1980, find itself land scarce just 25 years later? The answer lies in part with a tripling of the village population, the widespread use of oxen-drawn plough teams, and continued extensive patterns of farming. But, by far, the largest factor has been the arrival of many hundred incoming farmers from farther south, seeking land. Aerial photos and satellite images show the first wave in the late 1980s, from villages badly affected by bird damage to cereal crops, given their proximity to the irrigated lands of the Office du Niger, and the second wave unleashed by the establishment of N-Sukala, a sugar cane plantation 40 km to the southeast of DBG. Hundreds of families have lost their farmland to this irrigation scheme, and have migrated to seek land in neighbouring villages like DBG, putting further pressure on land.

Keywords:   Tenure, customary rights, sugar cane plantation, N-Sukala, scarcity, land law, irrigation, Office du Niger, migrant farmers, China

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