Improving water-use efficiency in Burkina Faso and Benin

Water  is of vital importance. This becomes particularly clear in times of drought. In Burkina Faso and Benin, countries in the vulnerable Sahel region, the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable. Long periods of drought are alternated with heavy rains. This has implications for many farmers and their work.

A large share of the population in Burkina Faso and Benin works in agriculture. A sector with potential, but where farmers all too often earn little income. Among other things, the strong reliance on the weather, a lack of knowledge and technology, and an uncertain market are restrictive factors for the farmers. These are problems we want to tackle in the Drops4Crops project. Together with farmer groups, local partners and the government.


In Benin we aim to improve the efficiency of water use for vegetable production in the dry Sahel-regions Atacora and Donga. Both regions are characterized by poverty and a short period of heavy rainfall followed by a long dry season. Although young people are the main labour force, they are in search of money and tend to emigrate permanently or at least seasonally because of a lack of decent employment. So there is a strong need for improved and resilient production. The project runs until 2025.

Burkina Faso:

In the water-challenged North of Burkina Faso we work for integrated water resource management measures and efficient water use. The targeted provinces for our programme are Zondoma and Yatenga characterized by high poverty (70%). Our intervention is focused on smallholder vegetable producers. We aim for increased production and a yearly income growth for these farmers and their families. Income improvement is expected to be on average 500 euro per year per farmer.

Project goals:


family members benefit in Benin


farmers reached in Benin


farmers reached in Burkina Faso


family members benefit in Burkina Faso


How will the goals be achieved?

Farmers get access to an integrated service package of land, credit, water and innovative irrigation technologies

New infrastructure to capture and storage water

Farmers are trained in improved production methods

Improved market knowledge and marketing techniques help farmers to increase their income.


In both projects different relevant partners joined together to make a difference in the target area’s. The Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) subsidizes the projects with 50%. A valuable sign of confidence.

Consortium Benin: Waterproducer Protos, Woord en Daad en the local organizations Dedras and URCooPMa together work to improve agricultural production in Benin in cooperation with five communes (Djougou, Péhoncu, Ouaké, Natitingou, Tanguieta). The government is responsible for the water management in the region.

Consortium Burkina Faso: The Dutch NGO Practica, production center for water pumps CSF, public partner Direction Regionale de l’Agriculture et Eau du Nord (DREA-Nord), consortium lead Woord en Daad, local implementing organizations ODE and farmer’s cooperative ASPMY together work to improve agricultural production and water use in Burkina Faso.

”Before, my garden was left fallow for some months each year because of a lack of water or because the soil was exhausted. Now I learn how to prevent this and how to improve the cultivation of crops. I cultivate vegetables like carrots and onions, and my garden yields twice as much as before!”

Wounounin from Benin

Before, we could not get any credit, many women did not have their own land and there was always a shortage of inputs and water. Support in this matter helps us and gives us opportunities to increase our production and make a profit. With the money we can send our children to school and to the doctor when they get ill.

Safoura from Burkina Faso

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