Planting using fertilizer coordinated through the Sustain Africa programme kicked off in Madagascar with a field day to demonstrate correct use of the fertilizer for different crops including rice
Sustain Africa partner implementing partner partners Ambia and Celvia organised a field day as part of the roll-out to farmers of the Sustain Africa programme in Madagascar. The programme targets 72,500 farmers with an integrated package of 4,500 MT of discounted ammonium sulphate and seeds and extension services. A key component of the programme is the provision of agronomic advice and training to participating farmers. Celvia and Ambia, implementing partners for the programme, are organising training for cooperative agents and leading farmers to be community-based agents (CBA) to support agrodealers and farmers with information and advice on product usage. Additionally, the implementing partners are carrying out ‘Mama and Baby’ demonstrations to give smallholder farmers hands-on coaching in the proper and most efficient use of the inputs supplied. The programme began in November 2022 and will run until July 2023.
Agriculture accounts for between 25 and 30% of Madagascar’s GDP, generating 30 to 40 per cent of exports. About 80% of Madagascar’s working age population depend on agriculture with rice the main food crop. The country has excellent potential for agricultural development due to rich natural resources, but is also seeing the effects of climate change. An estimated one quarter of the population (approximately 5 million people) live in zones at high risk of natural disasters. Farmer livelihoods were disrupted by a severe 2022 cyclone season, following two years of extreme drought. Since mid-January, the country has been hit by five tropical weather events. The implementing partners have therefore selected seven regions most affected by these events for focus with the Sustain Africa programme.