West Africa
Ouna-Kouanza Irrigation Facilities Improvement Project, Republic of Niger
Niger has a large national land as 3.5 times of Japan, however the arable land is very limited only at 12% of the national land due to a large occupation by the Sahara Desert. The arable land extends only along the Niger river which flows across the southwest of the country. Production of millet and sorghum has realized the self-sufficiency of food balance of the country while the demand of rice increases rapidly according to the recent improvement in standard of living in urban area. Out of the total demand of rice of 80,000 tons, 50,000 tons are imported and it causes one serious negative factor in foreign currency balance of the country.
In order to improve said situation, the project has been established to produce rice of about 23,000 tons that is able to reduce import of rice by half. The project consists of double cropping of rice by pump irrigation in the floodplain of the Niger River. The study was carried out under very severe condition with temperature over 45oC in the field, causing most member of the survey team being hospitalized after the field work.