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Spotlight on the African Development Fund

Changing lives across Africa

Heriniaina, or “Life Force” in Malagasy, confidently stands on her land in Tanandava. She has made the most of her plot, saving enough money to acquire an additional hectare of land and a tractor worth 3,000 euros. The tractor has enabled her to double her harvest. Heriniaina, a member of a local women’s association, is miles ahead of many other local farmers, who still use zebus to cultivate their land. She also rents her tractor to increase her earnings. “My life has changed,” she says.

Heriniana is a beneficiary of the irrigation project funded by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in Lower Mangoky in southwestern Madagascar.

Thanks to the Mangoky Basin rehabilitation project financed by the African Development Fund (ADF) in 2014 in Madagascar, Heriniaina and her husband Noé saw their annual yield triple from four to 12 tonnes per hectare. Today, their future looks promising. “Currently we are expecting a child. We prepared ourselves for his arrival. We will be able to take good care of him,” says Heriniana hopefully, joined by Noé. The couple plans to get married in a few days and affirms that the ADF-financed project “has brought a big change to their lives.”

Heriniaina is not alone. The entire Tanandava community has been transformed thanks to the ADF project, which has significantly improved the fertility of irrigated land. Thanks to the ADF investment, the irrigated area has increased from 5,000 to 10,000 hectares. Similarly, yields have doubled from 2-3 to 5-6 tonnes per hectare. The result: a better quality of life for the local population, who have also benefited from the construction of a new school.

This success story was made possible by the African Development Fund, through which the African Development Bank Group supports development in low-income African countries. The ADF is the concessional window of the African Development Bank and contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development on the continent. The Bank also brought experience in targeting, training, and supporting poor households willing to increase their incomes.

The Lower Mangoky Irrigation Area Rehabilitation Project (PRBM, from the French) aims to contribute to a reduction in rural poverty in the Atsimo-Andrefana Region and, more specifically, to improve agricultural productivity and the incomes of farmers in the southwestern region of Madagascar. The Lower Mangoky area is in the district of Morombe, 220 kilometres north of Toliara. It is irrigated by the Mangoky River, the largest river in Madagascar, through a new water intake with a capacity of 40 square metres per second, located 20 km upstream of Lower Mangoky. The water intake was also funded by the African Development Bank. Thanks to these funds, the Lower Mangoky area boasts the second-highest number of self-supported concrete irrigation channels reaching individual agricultural plots in the country.

This story is just one of many. A number of flagship projects have emerged thanks to the African Development Fund, including New Rice for Africa (NERICA) (see video), the Ketta-Djoum Road in Congo-Brazzaville (see video), a drinking water project in Mozambique (see video), and the Menengaï power project in Kenya (video). Other flagship projects have recently been launched, including the development of agricultural value chains in The Gambia and the Job Creation and Livelihoods Enhancement Project in Mozambique. Each of these operations is a story of impact and change – for individuals, communities and entire countries. Heriniaina is living proof.

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