Land Grabbing, a Virus in the Fruit of Food Sovereignty in West Africa: A Case Study from ‘Office du Niger’ Zone in Mali

  • Mamadou GoïtaEmail author
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Major challenges have emerged in recent years in Mali, related to land governance, access to and securing of land for family farms, and, most significantly, the appropriation of land by private national and international companies in areas with high agricultural potential. These challenges are related, more generally, to the current trends in the privatization of agricultural land in Mali. Land legislation has been under reform in Mali for diverse purposes, aiming to promote land registration, do away with public estate land, recognize customary rights in their diversity, as well as to promote the decentralization of land management through the creation of local land institution. Yet, in the context of the appropriation of large tracts of land, particularly in irrigated and irrigable areas, to private international and local players, the more progressive aspects of the legislative reforms may be marginalized under the weight of land grabs and land speculation. This chapter begins with some conceptual issues related to sustainable natural resource management, before focusing on the land question in Mali and the specific case of land appropriation in the Office du Niger (ON) zone.


Mali Land tenure reform Land grabs Land commissions Environmental sustainability 


  1. Djiré, M., & Keïta, A. (2010). Diagnosis of agricultural land in Mali, Bamako.Google Scholar
  2. Escobar, A. (1996). Construction nature: Elements for a post-structuralist political ecology. Futures, 28(4), 325–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Forsyth, T. (2008). Political ecology and the epistemology of social justice. Geoforum, 39(2), 756–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hugon, P. (1994). Ajustement structurel dans les pays en développement. In X. Greffe, et al. (Eds.), Encyclopédie économique (pp. 2015–2056). Paris: Économica.Google Scholar
  5. Ministry of Agriculture of Mali. (2013). Etude nationale sur les exploitations Agricoles au Mali.Google Scholar
  6. Ministry of Agriculture of Mali. (2014). Agricultural land policy.Google Scholar
  7. Parliement of Mali. (2017). Agricultural land law.Google Scholar
  8. Peet, R., & Watts, M. (1996). Liberation ecologies: Environment, development, social movements. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Robbins, P. (2004). Political ecology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Watts, M. J. (1985). Social theory and environmental degradation: the case of Sudano-Sahelian West Africa. In Y. Gradus (Ed.), Desert development: Man and technology in sparselands. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  11. WCED [World Commission on Environment and Development]. (1987). Our common future. Available at Retrieved November 29, 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development—AfricaBamakoMali

Personalised recommendations