Written by 14:24 Articoli, Geotema 41

Geotema 41 – Al margine del campo

Marina Bertoncin, Andrea Pase, Daria Quatrida

Al margine del campo

Abstract: At the Edge of the Field

The Office du Niger is the most ambitious and “old” irrigation project in West Africa. Started in 1932 in the middle of the colonial era, it has accompanied the history of Mali since the independence, becoming the pivot of the State presence in the agricultural sector. It has gone through phases of crisis and restructuring. Nowadays irrigated schemes are developing, although with an increasing role of foreign actors, as it is the case for Libya and its intervention on 100.000 hectares, called “Malybia”. Our fieldwork in the project area leads us to call into question the meaning of some “territorial facts” that seemed to be commonplace (above all, the consolidation of a large irrigated areas). Those facts actually turn out to be “artefacts”, that is to say the construction of a discourse on the territory, hiding all those elements of discordance and doubt, that clearly appear in the voice of local actors.

Keywords: Fieldwork, Office du Niger, Territorial Artefacts.

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