Leading a Cow to Water: How USAID Helps Farmers Prosper in a Drought-Prone Land

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Construction of the 24 water catchments was completed in January, 2018
Photo: ADRA Madagascar / Livatiana Ranarison


Southern Madagascar is an arid and drought-prone land, receiving just 16.5 inches (419 mm) of rain per year, versus a national average of 39 to 59 inches (991 to 1,499 mm) annually. But the region is rich in cattle, which are the main source of income for farmers.

Therefore, reliable sources of water for cattle in this critically dry place are of great interest for farmers.

To help local farmers cope with these conditions, the USAID-funded ASOTRY program, which focuses on food security issues, has contributed to the construction of 24 cattle troughs in southwestern Madagascar. The troughs provide water sources for animals and nearby crops.

Constructing the troughs is a cooperative effort, as villagers themselves build the troughs and ASOTRY provides funding, technical assistance and support. The villagers also perform regular maintenance to ensure the troughs remain in good working condition.

The partnership has been successful, with all of the troughs collecting water during the rainy season and furnishing a steady supply of water.

This USAID program is funded by the Office of Food For Peace, and is helping farmers and communities nourish and nurture their livestock, improving the self-reliance and resilience of local farmers, and bringing greater stability and economic opportunities to the region.

Last updated: September 17, 2020

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