A Task of Some Magnitude: Gezira Management Logic

  • Maurits W. Ertsen

Abstract

Well before the first 300,000 feddans were irrigated from Sennar in 1925, enlarging the irrigated area in Gezira became a shared desire of the Sudan Government and the Sudan Plantations Syndicate (SPS). Extending the irrigated area would allow more extensive use of Sennar Dam and its canal system—the two most expensive elements—and increase revenue. Sudan officials were convinced that additional revenue was needed to pay back the huge loans. The SPS obviously did not object to more cotton, as long as the SPS would manage it. Each extension was the result of new negotiations between the Sudan Government and SPS, with two issues coming to the front time and again: whereas the SPS would offer the best management and where to locate the extension areas?

Keywords

Economic Crisis Steam Germinate Diesel Drilling 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    National Archives, F014/579: Minutes meeting on Gezira Extension, dated 23/5/1923. See also R. W. Allen (1924) “Irrigation in the Sudan,” Journal of the Royal African Society, 23, 257–264Google Scholar
  2. R. W. Allen (1926) “The Gezira Irrigation Scheme, Sudan,” Journal of the Royal African Society, 25, 229–236.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    NA, F0141/579: High Commissioner to J. R. MacDonald 22/5/1924. After all, the early 1920s were complicated years for London-Cairo relations, see R. O Collins (2008) A history of modern Sudan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  4. M. W. Daly (1986) Empire on the Nile: The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898–1934 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  5. J. Ryle, J. Willis, S. Baldo and J. M. Jok (2011) The Sudan Handbook (Woodbridge: James Curry)Google Scholar
  6. T. Tvedt (2004) The river Nile in the age of the British: Political ecology and the quest for economic power (London: I. B. Taurus).Google Scholar
  7. 4.
    Daly (1986); Tvedt (2004). It is clear that along with discussions on actual water availability of the Nile, internal political concerns of the British in Egypt were at least as important. The British colonial government in the Condominium was afraid “of giving the extremist factions so good a ground for uniting against us.” (NA, FO 141/579). For more detail on Egyptian irrigation, see J. Barnes (2014) Cultivating the Nile: The everyday politics of water in Egypt (Durham: Duke University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 5.
    A. Gaitskell (1959) Gezira. A story of development in the Sudan (London: Faber and Faber).Google Scholar
  9. 60.
    D. J. Shaw (1965a) “The development and contribution of irrigated agriculture in the Sudan,” in Agricultural Development in the Sudan (Khartoum: Philosophical Society of the Sudan, Sudan Agricultural Society).Google Scholar
  10. 126.
    See E. M. Crowther and F. Crowther (1935) “Rainfall and cotton yields in the Sudan Gezira,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences, 118, 343–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 155.
    Compare with R. E. Elson (1984) Javanese peasants and the colonial sugar industry: Impact and change in an East Java residency, 1830–1940 (Singapore: Oxford University Press)Google Scholar

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© Maurits W. Ertsen 2016

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  • Maurits W. Ertsen

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