Upper Mandrare Basin Development Project
Upper Mandraré Basin Development Project (PHBM)
The first phase of the Upper Mandraré Basin Development Project was designed in the context of the 1990s government policy of restructuring rural zones by strengthening farmers' organizations so that they could participate in regional development and establishing rice granaries in the south, following the recurrent famines of past decades. It was also in line with IFAD's approach of developing new areas in order to reduce population pressure on the central highlands.
The Mandraré region is an isolated zone in the south of the country and has the advantage of a major hydrographic system in a generally arid region. This potential favours the development of rice production.
The general objective of the project was to support the zone's small farmers. As a result of two years of drought, 80 per cent of the inhabitants were living in poverty in 1995 and found it hard to produce enough to feed themselves. Moreover, roads and irrigation systems were in a very poor condition.
The project therefore aimed at restoring the inhabitants' productive capacity and helping them to use their resources rationally and optimize the use of existing irrigated areas. In practical terms, this involved:
- Achieving the national goal of self-sufficiency in rice
- Improving the infrastructure (irrigated areas, rural roads and access tracks) in order to expand irrigated areas, increase the amount of food sent to shortfall areas and stabilize rice production and productivity
- Increasing the income of the target population and improving its living conditions thanks to better social infrastructure
When the project closed, 98 per cent of the IFAD loan had been disbursed and 115 per cent of the physical objectives achieved. It owed its success to an effective participatory approach based on the beneficiaries' participation in decision-making and in the contribution of their funds before the work began. The outsourcing of services to NGOs and private enterprises and the reduced size of the project management unit led to greater effectiveness. Four years after its inception, the project had already rehabilitated all the infrastructure and irrigation systems anticipated.
12 April 1995
1995 - 2001
Total Project Cost
US$ 8.42 million
US$ 6.9 million
National Government US$ 1.32 million