The agricultural production in Senegal, as in many countries of the South-Sahelian area mainly comes from subsistence farming, where the average non-intensive crop production ranges between 400-500 kg/ha. This poor farming context, coupled with the common socio-economic issues of rural areas, have contributed to a considerable depopulation towards urban areas. Due to that, local Government started a program called REVA (REtour Vers l’Agriculture – return to farming), to improve the boundary between people and rural areas by improving crop production, (especially fruits and vegetables) hence fostering local economies.
In this context the project SAT (Sole, Acqua, Terra), and in particular the sub-project H2Ortisol provide a small but important contribution to development aid program between Italy and Senegal aimed to improve the sustainable development of the Beud Dieng village about 90 km North of Dakar. The H2Ortisol project realized a vegetable garden (divided in five sectors) irrigated with a drip irrigation system powered by solar pumps, and trained the local technicians in charge of local water and energy resources.
Thanks to the activities of the H2Ortisol project, it was possible to expand farming areas and enhance the agricultural production, but also to train local farmers and raising the awareness about local agricultural potential. In the medium –long time is expected that the project will generate both direct (increase vegetable production, enhance food security, create stable jobs and trigger the development of the local economy), and indirect (fighting manlnutrition, food-related diseases and the depopulation trend of rural areas).