Green Fields of the Gezira Scheme in Sudan – November 27th, 200914.5N 33.1E
The green irrigated fields of the Gezira Scheme in Sudan’s Al Jazirah state fill the land between the Blue (right) and White Nile (left) Rivers. The Gezira Scheme, begun by the British in 1925 to foster cotton farming, distributes water from the Blue Nile through canals and ditches to tenant farms lying between the two rivers.
Since the start of the scheme, Al Jazirah has become Sudan’s major agricultural region, with more than 2.5 million acres (10,000 km²) under cultivation. The initial development project was semi-private, but the government nationalized it in 1950. Cotton production increased in the 1970s but by the 1990s increased wheat production has supplanted a third of the land formerly seeded with cotton.