Kanem Rural Development Project

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Kanem Rural Development Project

Kanem Rural Development Project

IFAD’s first engagement in the Kanem region dates back to 1994, when the Ouadis of Kanem Agricultural Development Project reached effectiveness. The shocking rates of chronic infantile malnutrition (56.8 per cent among girls and 53.2 per cent among boys) and of acute infantile malnutrition (27 per cent for both sexes) indicate the level of food insecurity and poverty in the region, which would justify a major humanitarian campaign. 


Most of the rural population of the Kanem region comprises small-scale farmers who cultivate crops at subsistence level and raise livestock on marginal land. Kanem is very remote with poor communication and transportation infrastructure. It is difficult and costly to implement development initiatives in the area. IFAD is virtually the only development organization working in the region. The land is characterized by sand dunes and ouadis, or seasonal river beds. Traditional dry farming techniques are inadequate and yields are low. The most vulnerable people in the region are women, young people and disabled people. They are excluded from decision-making and have limited access to resources, especially land.


The objective of the project is to improve incomes and food security for households in the region, and especially for the most disadvantaged people. The project builds on experience gained through a previous initiative, the Ouadis of Kanem Agricultural Development Project, which introduced microfinance services and appropriate water lifting technologies to irrigate the fertile ouadis. Specific project goals are to:

  • help set up grass-roots organizations and empower the groups to identify and implement their own development needs
  • promote income-generating activities, particularly for women and young people
  • increase agricultural productivity by developing technological improvements adapted to the conditions of the ouadis
  • develop a distribution system for agricultural inputs
  • help provide rural financial services and microfinance support
  • protect the environment

Source: IFAD


Status: Closed
Approval Date
10 April 2003
2003 - 2009
Rural Development
Total Project Cost
US$ 14.31 million
IFAD Financing
US$ 13 million
Co-financiers (Domestic)
National Government US$ 1.01 million
Financing terms
Highly Concessional
Project ID
Project Contact
Mohamed Sigbe Mr Beavogui

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