CILSS project rehabilitates 70 hectares of Cape Verdian farmland

Farmers and residents of the Cape Verde municipality of Santa Cruz have reported significant results from a project to improve the management of agricultural land. A delegation of experts from the CILSS Executive Secretariat and the Sahel Institute visited Cape Verde from 1 to 7 February to assess the impacts of the project implemented from 2013-15 with the aim of improving water management and agricultural practices through the mastery of drip irrigation. The evaluation mission reports that the project rehabilitated 70 hectares of arable land. Among other things, the project installed drip irrigation systems, constructed a 254 cubic metre capacity water storage tank, rehabilitated five water tanks and safeguarded two others and constructed a dam to protect farmland against salinization. The evaluation mission visited project sites and met with local actors who shared their experiences and drew lessons from the implementation of the project. Santa Cruz has a mainly agricultural economy and is the poorest municipality in Cape Verde. Mayor Carlos Alberto Gonçalves Silva said increasing agricultural production would help to reduce rural poverty and give residents incentive to remain in the area. "Many families have benefited from the interventions (of the project). They can now better cope with the adversities of nature. The results are already visible in households… Beyond the direct benefits, the town is enriched with additional capacity in project management."
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