The future perspective for Mopti
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1991. The future perspective for Mopti. Spore 34. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45559
The fifth region of Mali around Mopti, has considerable potential for agriculture and fisheries. But, if the area's limitations in natural and human resources are not heeded, there will be no future for the development of crops, cattle or fish. A...
The fifth region of Mali around Mopti, has considerable potential for agriculture and fisheries. But, if the area's limitations in natural and human resources are not heeded, there will be no future for the development of crops, cattle or fish. A study which is about to be published suggests two ways of creating sustainable development in the region. The interior delta of the river Niger gives the fifth region of Mali an advantage over other regions of the country. Nevertheless, all the characteristics of under development are present. Between 1977 and 1987 agricultural production as a whole dropped 60% in financial terms compared to the three preceding decades. Crop production in particular, more than livestock and fisheries has been affected by this recession. But maybe the worst victim of this state of affairs has been the natural resources which have been put under intense pressure because of the shortage and irregularity of the rainfall and the progressive diminution of the floodwaters since 1972. The soil is exhausted, pasture land is less fertile, the trees are stressed. A study undertaken jointly by the Centre for Agrobiological Research (CABO) in Wageningen, The Netherlands, and an inter-disciplinary team based in Mali, is of the opinion that all is not lost, however. 'Sustainable production systems which will restore the natural equilibrium and raise productivity are within the bounds of possibility.' The study, entitled 'Competing for limited resources: the case of the Fifth Region,' first makes an extremely detailed assessment of the agricultural, pastoral and fishing activities, and then explores future possibilities in these fields. This study is unlike previous development projects, which were often incomplete in that they failed to recognise the ever more intense competition for these very limited resources among all concerned. One example of this is the struggle for land between pastoralists and farmers. The study suggests two possible scenarios which contain various options for sustainable development. One, which is the most risky of the two targets is a maximum gross income of approximately 66.7 billion CFA francs for the region with an official emigration of 250,000 people. This scenario forsees that in drought years there will be serious cereals deficits and many animals will be at risk. The second scenario is more cautious in its objectives: a total gross income of around 32.5 billion FCFA, and an emigration of only 50,000. In this latter case even in periods of drought food self-sufficiency would be guaranteed. This strategy is innovative in that it is takes a global view based on a variety of objectives. While it is not a recipe book for success the study lays down the elements of an overall perspective for the state and for donor agencies to make informed choices and maximize the potential outcome of their actions. Ultimately the decisions are political and the government must choose the we, forward in the light of the knowledge mad' available: for example, whether or not to protect one particular area; or whether or not to increase the price of agriculture products, and so on. But in the final analysis politicians will depend on the good will of the rural population, without whom the best and most enlightened projects will never come to fruition.