INCATEMA favours efficient irrigation techniques in Sao Tomé and Príncipe to improve subsistence agricultural production sustainability

11 May, 2022

INCATEMA Consulting & Engineering carried out three projects to rehabilitate irrigation systems in the perimeters Canavial Baixo, Canavial Cima and Agua Casada, in the Democratic Republic of Sao Tomé and Príncipe, a small island African country where sustainable water and energy management are a priority.

To conceive these three executive projects, INCATEMA carried out diagnostic studies on existing irrigation infrastructure, plots topography and hydrographic basins, soil and water quality, existing crops, climate and hydric balance for each irrigated perimeter. With all collected data, INCATEMA multidisciplinary team approached the projects adapting them to local agricultural and socioeconomic conditions, proposing irrigation systems that are coherent with the country reality.

A highly qualified team from INCATEMA travelled to the island to start working with four local engineers who undertook necessary field data collection to prepare the three irrigation projects. INCATEMA formulated projects propose a minimum use of polluting energy sources, so water catchments are placed in higher altitude points of the rivers to create pressurized water supply networks thanks to potential gravitational energy improving water efficiency, including at irrigation scheme level, with efficient drip and sprinkler irrigation outlet control systems.

Energy saving for higher water efficiency

Projected irrigation systems work with a minimal energy input and have efficient water outlet control systems. Therefore, there is an aim to achieve more sustainable irrigation systems, with lower operating costs to grow with more energy saved and more water efficiency.

Ana Romero, Consultancy department director at INCATEMA Consulting & Engineering, clams that “introducing irrigation systems and infrastructures adapted to local realities and more efficient control will contribute positively to develop subsistence agriculture in less favoured regions such as Sao Tomé and Príncipe. These small island countries suffer more direct consequences of climate change, since water is a precious and scarce resource, being key to facilitate a sustainable management of water resources”.

This project has a budget of € 98,000, financed by the African Development Bank, being contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, implemented by INCATEMA with the support of the team from the Project to Rehabilitate Supporting Infrastructures for Food Security (PRIASA II), the team from the Directorate of Planning and Studies from said ministry, and the team from the Directorate-General for Natural Resources and Energy from the Ministry of Infrastructures and Natural Resources.