Pilot Project for Integrated Rural Development of the Mellegue Watershed

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Pilot Project in Algeria and Tunisia for the Integrated Rural Development of the Mellegue Watershed

Pilot Project for Integrated Rural Development of the Mellegue Watershed


The Pilot Project for Integrated Rural Development of the Mellegue watershed in Algeria and Tunisia was the first IFAD project to bring together two developing countries in a combined large-scale development project. The project was unique in that it supported rural people farming in a shared geographical region in two neighbouring countries. IFAD worked together with the governments of both countries to combat environmental deterioration and boost agricultural and livestock production.

The project broke new ground by promoting cooperative development and by adopting a group approach to lending, repayment and environmental conservation activities.

When the project was designed, the Oued Mellegue watershed was at a critical level of environmental degradation. The project's objective was to improve food production and the incomes of poor families while halting degradation of the natural resource base resulting from increasing domestic demand. The pressure of livestock raising and the expansion of cereal production led to land degradation and increased siltation rates in the dams on the Mellegue River . To improve farming systems the project introduced improved cereal varieties, leguminous crops, appropriate use of fertilizer and appropriate instruments for soil preparation. Access to credit and efficient extension were crucial in enabling farmers to adopt these changes.

The project also promoted the active participation of rural women in the development process by providing training, credit and extension to support income-generating activities such as poultry production, family gardens and handicrafts.

The activities that were the focus of the project were:

    • infrastructure development, including soil and water conservation and pasture improvement, creation of shallow wells and rehabilitation of springs for irrigation
    • provision of credit for on-farm investment
    • women's economic development
    • institutional development

Source: IFAD

Status: Closed
Approval Date
15 September 1988
1988 - 1999
Rural Development
Total Project Cost
US$ 31.4 million
IFAD Financing
US$ 14 million
Co-financiers (Domestic)
National Government US$ 17.4 million
Financing terms
Project ID

President's reports

Project design reports

Supervision and implementation support documents

Environmental and social impact assessment

Final environmental and social management framework

Interim (mid-term) review report

Resettlement action framework

PCR digest

Special study

Project list

Audit and Financial Statements

Project completion report