Ecuador: Three thousand families are eating better thanks to new irrigation systems

August 28, 2012


Life has improved for many farmers in Chimborazo Province, Ecuador, thanks to a new project that invests in automated irrigation systems.

World Bank

  • The Chimborazo Development Investment Project (PIDD) benefits more than three thousand families.
  • They have encouraged high-value commercial crops such as peas, corn, beans, potatoes, carrots, radish and alfalfa.
  • The PIDD has improved 33 irrigations systems and it is expected that 59 systems will be rehabilitated by the end of the project

“Irrigation is life. We live and eat from our lands; if there is no water, there is nothing,” said Hilda Rosalía Allaica Guamán, president of the Daldal Irrigation Board of Pungalá Parish, Chimborazo Province.

Like Hilda, some three thousand farmers and their families have improved their quality of life by expanding and diversifying their crop production. This provides food security for their families, fodder for livestock and more produce for marketing.

The Chimborazo Development Investment Project (PIDD) is financed by the World Bank through the Chimborazo autonomous government.

The project aims to increase production and market access of rural families living in the Chambo and Chanchan-Chimbo river basins within Chimborazo Province through investments in irrigation and road improvement.

Four demonstration plots have confirmed the benefits of automated irrigation in increasing production. This has led farmers to plant other crops of high market value, such as pea, corn, bean, potato, carrot, radish and fodder such as alfalfa.

Don Segundo Cando, a resident of Lucerito community in Riobamba Canton, explained how the project has changed his life: “I used to cut wood; sometimes I would have to be away from home for eight to 15 days. Now I work exclusively on my plots and everything I produce benefits my family.”

" Irrigation is life. We live and eat from our lands; if there is no water, there is nothing. "

Hilda Rosalía Allaica Guamán

President of the Daldal Irrigation Board of Pungalá Parish, Chimborazo.

There’s no need to wait for the rain anymore

The project has improved irrigation and planting conditions. Through community water oversight associations, users have established irrigation schedules and rates to guarantee continuity.

A project impact assessment found that previously, 46.6% of the crops families cultivated were short-cycle crops whereas just 36.9% were permanent crops. Currently, 65% are permanent and semi-permanent crops, such as tree tomato, mulberry, alfalfa, cacao, fodder and others.

The Chimborazo Development Investment Project has created new hope among users as they now have a continuous supply of clean water. They can develop their agricultural activities without having to depend exclusively on rainwater.

To date, the project has improved 33 irrigations systems. The final goal is to rehabilitate 59 systems in 10 cantons of Chimborazo, Ecuador.