Historically a centered in the lands of the Djerma people, Ouallam has important minorities of rural and urban Tuareg and Fula peoples. It is the main town of the rocky Sahel highlands called the Zarmaganda plateau, and is one of the traditional homes of the Djerma people and one of the places win which they coalesced as an ethnicity in the 15th and 16th centuries. The area had been along an important trade route to the Aïr Mountains, used by the Songhay Empire, and was later controlled by a series of Tuareg confederations.
Ouallam, on a main road to Niamey, is situated in an agricultural region which, although dryer than areas further south and west, is a center for livestock (cattle—both sedentary and semi-nomadic, goats), as well as grain agriculture (millet and sorghum). A market center, the town is also home to an agricultural research center of the INRAN (Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques du Niger—the National Institute of Agricultural Research, Niger.)
- W.A. Payne. Shallow Tillage with a Traditional West African Hoe to Conserve Soil Water. Soil Science Society of America Journal 63:972-976 (1999)
A. Steinb, J. Brouwerc and J. Boumab. Dynamics of spatial variability of millet growth and yields at three sites in Niger, West Africa and implications for precision agriculture research. Agricultural Systems, Volume 63, Issue 2, February 2000, Pages 123-140
- Matthew D. Turner, Timothy O. Williams. Livestock Market Dynamics and Local Vulnerabilities in the Sahel. World Development, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2002, Pages 683-705
- 12 killed in Niger clashes, News 24 (South Africa) 30 September 2008
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