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Water regulation schemes for traditional rice crops in Chad

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Local name of practice: Guidama

Country/region/village: Chad/Mayo Kibbi Est/Djarabov 

Community: Massa


In Chad, rice cultivation is concentrated in the south-west of the country mainly in the Tandjilé, Mayo Kebbi and Logone Occidental areas. Traditional rice farming is done with simple developments in the flood zones. Farmers who were first to engage in this technology later expanded it to other farmers with improved species and cultural techniques. In the face of declining rainfall and water stress in rice crops, producers in the Massa community have developed a technique for regulating water in rice growing areas with the support of ANADER. ANADER is a national structure whose mission is to support the intensification and diversification of agricultural, animal, fish and forest products, and to promote these sectors. They accompany producers as well as the Union of farmers' organization groups.  This endogenous rice farming technology has been developed to be used in the agriculture and water resources sectors, and relates to climate change adaptation and mitigation, specifically addressing the needs for food security for hundreds of producers. It consists of simple water regulation schemes in flood-prone areas for traditional rice crops. The technology is applied at the community level in all the villages in the Bongor region which is the capital of the Mayo-Kebbi East region and the Mayo-Boneye constituency with a population of approximately 70,000 inhabitants.  


The main requirements of this technology relate to access to land, seeds and fertilizer. The community have developed a technique for regulating water in rice fields by making bunds when the water floods the plots. It is at this moment that the farmer sows the rice and removes weeds. The bunds are designed to regulate the water in the rice perimeters. Made with local materials, these bunds help to avoid harmful floods to crops but also to keep moisture in case of shoreline stagnations. To ensure a good drainage of the water within the rice plots the producers open channels and make dimensioned bunds

The technology was initiated and used by their ancestors and transmitted from one generation to another through word of mouth, while producers have acquired capacities and possesion of practical technical and organizational knowledge in traditional rice farming. They control the production chain and ensure the transplanting, weeding, monitoring, harvesting and marketing of the rice. Nowaday, knowledge is also transferred via programmes on the Bongor community radio called "Terre Nouvelle".

The approach has provide profitable and generates direct cash income for producers, while part of the harvest is for self-consumption for the family. It also generates income to finance agricultural inputs such as seeds, plowing, cultivation, weed and pipe equipment and bunds. Producers use a traditional savings system that allows them to meet their need for seed and agricultural equipment. This approach also allows them to be more autonomous and to prepare well for the next season because the seeds offered by the State are insufficient and often come late. Producer organizations are connected with the Union of rice growers' groups. The platform serves as an interface between producers and partners, defends producer interests and resolves conflicts. The "Investment Savings" system allows growers to annually mobilize the necessary financing for their input and labor needs. A large part of the costs of family expenses are reduced by the self-consumption of part of the harvest. The profitability of the activity is related to the control of the production chain by the farmers, water management and the choice of species and the method of monitoring and the fertilization techniques. 

For each quarter of hectare the costs are as follows:
Small dikes: 30,000
Weeding: 20,000
Sowing: 20,000
Workforce: 20,000
Sifting: 10,000
Total: 100,000 Fcfa (USD 200)

Benefits of the technology

Technology contributes to an increase in yields and income Improving the situation of producers. It also leads to disaster risk reduction as it controls water levels on the rice fields and limits crop damage. Rice is locally referred to as "foot in the water, head in the sun". The technology also contributes to the protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity, because fish are trapped in the water of the bunds. This activity strengthens and contributes to the survival of several species such as frogs, lizards and locusts. The direct beneficiaries are the farmers and their families, as well as the consumers of the produce. The indirect beneficiaries are traders, conveyors and stock breeders.  

Gender considerations

Women are involved throughout the process of weeding, sowing, harvesting, winnowing and selling and are not knowingly at risk while applying this technology. The majority of the producers are men who own the rice lands. Nevertheless, the women are very involved in the operations of schooling and marketing of the product

Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling

This technology does not necessarily require a particular level of education. However, the sense of observation is important. This technology can be replicated in other areas with fertile banks for rice cultivation with the presence of sufficient water but its success also depends on the development of the rice-growing areas and factors such as encouraging children to love agriculture (modern means and improved seeds), building capacity of growers in farming techniques. being able to create agricultural banks, and to market procuts (for the moment traders set the prices).  


  • Djekore M. 2016. Mission de recueil des meilleures pratiques en matière de gestion durable des terres en vue de leur diffusion, CILSS,  126 pages.
  • Roger-Estrade, A. 1993. La politique du riz en Afrique subsaharienne : Etude des cas du Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Sénégal et Tchad, Etude FAO Développement Economique et Social, 114. 129 pages