The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US government program that provides overseas assistance to countries that meet specific criteria. In Mali, the MCC pursued and financed a project on over 20,000 ha in the Office du Niger to convert land mainly used for pastoralists to irrigated intensive farmland. The program trained headers to farm, introduced high-value crops, and built schools and wells. In the first phase the project resettled 33 villages (mostly of Fulani ethnicity) to make space for the new croplands. Each resettled family received a title to 5 ha of irrigated land (three of which were to be 'bought' from the MCA), new housing, and improved access to fresh water. In the second phase the project divided 5,000 ha into 10 ha parcels, and in the third and final phase, an additional 5,000 ha were partitioned into 30 ha plots and thirty plots of more than 30 ha. The titles for the largest landholdings were not limited to Malian citizens. SEXAGON, the local farmers' union, claims villagers were not consulted before their land was sold to MCC, and is opposed to the project of intense farming in the traditionally pastoralist region. The project was scheduled to conclude in September of 2012, but following a military coup in Mali the project contract was terminated in August of 2012. At the time of termination half of the 80km road, land allocation contracts, and resettlement aspects of the project remained incomplete. In 2008 the irrigation scheme was restructured from 14,000 ha to 5,200 ha.