Gezira Scheme

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A Sudanese agricultural project established by the British.

The Gezira Scheme, located in the plains between the Blue Nile and White Nile of the central Sudan, was the first large-scale irrigated agricultural project established by the British government under the AngloEgyptian condominium. When it opened in 1926, it covered 300,000 feddans (ca. 300,000 acres), of which a third grew cotton. In the 1950s, Sudanese managers replaced the British officials, and the Gezira Board invested a greater share of the profits for social development projects among the tenants. Later extensions quadrupled the area of the scheme, but costs escalated, cotton prices dropped in the world markets, and the tenants and Gezira Board became increasingly indebted. International loans have helped, but they have also increased the country's overall debt burden.


Barnett, Tony. The Gezira Scheme: An Illusion of Development. London: F. Cass, 1977.

ann m. lesch