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anm document

"Monographie du Cercle de Mopti (1920)"
in ANM 1 D 49 fonds anciens.

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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(p1) At first, Mopti was a subdivision of Bandiagara, but due to the growth of its commerce and the arrival of commercial houses, it became autonomous. The Arrˆte de GGAOF (Order of the Governor General) of June 22, 1910 made it into a cercle with 10 cantons.

In November 1917, the Cercle de Mopti had a population of 45,148. This was not enough to satisfy local labor needs (for commerce and construction), so the Arrˆte du GovHSN of December 11, 1917 attached all the cantons of the Cercle de Djenn‚ and two cantons from Bandiagara to the Cercle of Mopti, increasing the population of the Cercle de Mopti to 162,000 in 64 cantons and 33000 square kilometers.

(p2) In 1920, there were 978 villages and 23 markets (including 8 major markets) in the Cercle de Mopti. Merchants paid the French a tax for the right to a place in the market. Butchers paid the French tax of 1 franc/cow. The author of this monograph thought that was too low, because it had been set at a time when cows cost 25-30f each. By 1920, they cost 80-100f each.

(p3) Rice produced near Mopti was unable to compete with Indochinese rice because of the high cost of transport. Here is a breakdown on the cost of shipping a ton of rice from Mopti to St. Louis at the mouth of the Senegal River:

Cost item Price in francs
cost of a ton of rice at Mopti 300
packaging 40
handling at Mopti 5
shipping from Mopti to Koulikoro 50
transit at Koulikoro 12
handling at Koulikoro 1.50
railroad from Koulikoro to Kayes 50
transit at Kayes 15
shipping from Kayes to St. Louis 120
Total 593.50

This works out to a minimum price of .593 francs per kilo of Mopti rice offered for sale in St. Louis. By way of comparison, Indochinese rice sold for between between .50 and .60 francs perkilogram at Rufisque, on the coast just east of Dakar. In addition, Mopti rice must be warehoused for six to seven months after the November harvest, until the next rainy season raised river levels high enough to permit ships to operate on the Senegal River.


This is a breakdown for the cost of a ton of Mopti wool shipped to Bordeaux, where it competes with wool selling for 1500 francs/ton.

Cost item Price in francs
ton of wool at Mopti 500
packaging and compression 190
assurance et dechet 120
shipping from Mopti to Koulikoro 60.50
transit at Koulikoro 12
camionage in Koulikoro 1.10? (paper torn)
Railway Koulikoro-Bamako 10
camionage in Bamako 1.50
shipping Bamako-Kouroussa 220
transit Kouroussa 12
Decauville (Kouroussa) 0.50
Railway Kouroussa-Conakry 48
Transit Conakry 15
Decauville Conarkry 2.50
Warehouse 3 months x 3 francs/month… 9
Customs export duty 60
6% interest for 3 months 18.75
Shipping Conakry-Bordeaux 200f/m3 800
Unloading in Bordeaux 160
Miscellaneous expenses 30
Bordeaux taxes 52.50
Total 2332.85

(p4) Farm Exports from Mopti in 1920:

Product hectares cultivated tons total production tons local consumption tons export value of exports in francs
rice 12,000 25,000 19,000 6,000 5,400
"gros" millet 500 500 400 100 100,000
"petit" millet 2,500 2,500 2,000 500 500,000
peanuts 500 250 250 0 n
corn 250 750 750 0 n
manioc 150 1500 1,500 0 n
potatoes 50 300 300 0 n
ricin (castor oil plant) 50 5 0 5 1,250
Total 16,000 30,805 24,200 6,605 6,001,250

Other Exports from Mopti in 1920 (all figures in tons except where noted):

Product total 1920 production local consumption exported value of exports
in francs
wool 1,000 200 800 2,400,000
cattle skins 250 50 250 1,000,000
goat skins 300 50 250 2,000,000
dried fish 500 100 400 400,000
cotton n/a n/a n/a 150,000
Total 1,850 400 1,450 5,950,000

In addition, 2000 cows valued at 200000 francs were exported.