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Pumping Water in Senegal- Farmer Multiplies Production Levels

Three years ago Moussa Sagna was still a small-time farmer in Djifanghor, a village of about 2,000 people near the southern Senegalese town of Ziguinchor, making do on a 150-square-meter plot as part of a new farm shared by 66 others. Today, he has nearly tripled the size of his land, to 400 square meters, by being able to take over some family land outside the farmers’ group area. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its implementing partner, EnterpriseWorks/VITA (EWV), have done much to assist Mr. Sagna and his fellow farmers in Senegal’s lush Casamance region by helping install a pedal pump to increase irrigation and by giving clear technical guidance on how he can increase his yields of tomatoes, hibiscus, okra, egg plant, hot pepper, and onions. 

EWV markets two different kinds of pumps in the area that can be manufactured with locally available materials. A pedal pump manufactured in Ziguinchor costs $90, while the cheapest motorized pump costs at least $200. Through field visits, training sessions, and local radio shows where farmers share their experiences, Mr. Sagna has learned from EWV how to make better use of his soil, planting three times a year instead of twice. And Mr. Sagna has certainly earned more money. Prior to EWV support, in 2000, he earned the equivalent of $500 from his plot. In late 2004, he had already pocketed $1,800 and expected to fetch another $1,500 for the tomatoes he was growing for the market in Ziguinchor, where he had already sold more than 1.7 tons for a dollar a kilogram (2.2 pounds). The boost in income has made a huge difference. Mr. Sagna has now employs five full-time workers to tend to his fields, and in another 5 years he plans to own a very large parcel of land and employ at least 10 people.