Strengthening food security in Médina Chérif

In Senegal, rice is produced mainly in the flood plains of the rivers Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance. In the 70’s international investment enabled the construction of the Manantali dam turning the Senegal River Valley into a prime land for rice cultivation, however at the expense of the environment as well as the health and wellbeing of the local population. In the Casamance (south Senegal), rice is produced mainly by recessional irrigation along the short-lived flood plains. In order to enhance food security and to combine traditional know-how and modern rural technology, this rice cultivation project was started. Together with the «Institut Sénégalais de Recherche Agricole (ISRA)» several types of rice were identified as extremely apt for the Casamance, i.e. Nerica 1, 4 and 6 and Sahel 159 and 134. After a thorough training in adapted agricultural techniques, the 150 small-scale farmers identified started cultivating about 75ha of land using 21 tons of rice seeds with a yield of 3.5 to 4 tons of harvest per ha. Furthermore, two rice husking machines were established to provide income generation for the local women. Moreover, the construction work on five dykes ensures the mobility of the population during the rainy season as well as to retain water in the agricultural plots to improve the rice production and also to protect the depressions from silting.

Project Background: 

With respect to disaster prevention and food shortages, HOPE’87 recognises the importance of improving food security. A successful pilot phase regarding rice cultivation financed by USAID in 2010 was the basis for this project co-financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) from July 2011 to January 2013. The aim of the project was to provide comprehensive support in production, processing, packaging and marketing to producers of rain-fed rice in the Casamance.

Project Type

Development Project, Developmental food aid/Food security assistance

Project Duration

01/07/2011 to 31/01/2013






Moyenne Casamance


Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), HOPE'87