This pilot study shows that farmer organizations (FOs) were not able to adapt themselves in an adequate way to the new institutional architecture of the Office du Niger (ON). Sustainable answers to a range of members' concerns could not be acheived. These included the drop in price of production materials, the reduction of revenues from the water license and from the interest rates for agricultural credit, issues of land security, the increase in price of rice and the lack of social cohesion. This failure generated a social climate unfavourable to the partnerships between farmers and between the FOs and the ON that led to the contesting of legal institutions. We will show how the FOs suffered multiple constraints which blocked their effective functioning. The intervention of the State and the ON will be required to lift these constraints. Our study also reveals that, in their fight for the improvement of family farms, the farmers entered into conflict with the ON over the implementation of new rules. The solution to these conflicts can be found in a closer reading of the decree of management, in particular of the systems of land tenure and license payment.
IPPG Discussion Paper Series Number Thirteen, DFID, London, UK, 19 pp.