farmers on Santo Antão

Farming in Cape Verde is not easy. Many of the islands have very little rainfall and the islands that get more rain are mountainous. So, farmers struggle with both the lack of water for irrigation and also the terrain. The large relatively flat fields found in many parts of the world, do not exist on those islands that have more rainfall. Much of the food in Cape Verde has to be imported, but crops are grown on some of the islands. This is possible because the rain clouds form over the mountain tops. One such island is Santo Antão.

The Ribeira das Patas is one of the main valleys on the island for agriculture. Farmers in this valley have expressed their concern over the lack of irrigation water. The draught over the past four years has reduced the amount of water available for their crops. The springs are producing less water than they once did.

The farmers are calling for the re-ordering of the water catchment and supply. It is estimated that currently only about one third of the potential water supply is available. The improvement scheme, if implemented, would require investment of about two million escudos (18,000€).

[08 Apr 2022]