Enhancing agrobiodiversity in smallholder agroforestry systems in Madagascar
This agrobiodiversity case study (No.3) from Madagascar is the third of six case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF).
It describes the actions of the Analamanga Regional Branch of the National Platform for Women, Sustainable Development and Food Security (Antenne Régionale Analamanga de la Plateforme Nationale Femmes, Développement Durable et Sécurité Alimentaire - or ARFDDSA Analamanga).
Located 40km outside the capital city of Antananarivo, ARFDDSA Analamanga helps its smallholder members to diversify their planting practices, with the 20 members interviewed found to be growing more than 34 types of crops: 24 agricultural and 10 fruit tree crops and rearing 13 types of livestock. Despite this agrobiodiversity, driven by strong market demand from the capital city, the natural vegetation is severely reduced and is under heavy pressure from intense annual agricultural cycles.
ARFDDSA has helped promote agroecology approaches involving agroforestry and organic, climate-resilient agriculture within the prevailing context of profit-seeking agricultural entrepreneurship. It has made use of local structures and mechanisms for the transfer of farmer-to-farmer knowledge – such as the use of farmer leaders to train their local farmer organisations – and through the regular use of reference sites and demonstration plots. ARFDDSA has pushed innovation through exchange networks, such as product fairs and various meetings of sustainable development actors. Through these networks, ARFDDSA has been able to mobilise development partners and work with the relevant authorities to introduce seed of new varieties. ARFDDSA does not directly market products for its members, but is playing a role in market research to improve the market prospects for tree-based products, the development of which will further expand the uptake of agroforestry and other agroecological techniques among its members.