In the south of Benin we work in the plains along the Mono and Ouémé rivers. The farmers mainly grow rice, maize, manioc and vegetables. Primarily for themselves, but also to sell in nearby large cities such as Cotonou and Lomé.
In the dry season, the ideal time for cultivation, the farmers are reliant on groundwater. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, they are faced with water shortages that threaten to ruin the harvest, thereby jeopardising food security and income.
On the lower reaches of the Ouémé, access to agricultural water is made even more difficult because canals are clogged by the accumulation of sediments. As a result, the water cannot be distributed evenly, and the soil layers cannot be properly replenished.
We select the most vulnerable producers based on socio-economic criteria. Together with other organisations, they are guided in the cultivation, processing and marketing of their products.
What we do
Together with the Benin organisations CREDEL, Eco-Bénin, Social Watch-Benin and CIRAD we are committed to more sustainable use of water for agriculture and food production. A selection of our activities:
- We bring attention to risk areas and water supplies, test possible solutions, and evaluate whether we can apply them on a broader scale.
- We develop adapted, additional irrigation systems to provide the fields with sufficient water, even at the end of the dry season.
- We support agroforestry and agro-ecology, agricultural methods that involve planting not only crops, but also trees and soil and water conservation.
- We provide support in monitoring water supplies, using irrigation water efficiently, maintaining irrigation and drainage infrastructure, and sustainable farming practices.
These activities are part of a broader program in Benin that aims to keep clean and sufficient water available for people and nature alike. Efforts are being made to protect water resources and the availability of water for food production.