Madagascar is a country rich in biodiversity, but deforestation, land degradation and the effects of climate change are ravaging the nation’s natural resources. It is estimated that 20% of the island is already affected by desertification.
Eighty-five percent of the Malagasy population practice subsistence farming. More than eighty percent of the population survives on less than $2 per day, and poverty is one of the main reasons for the depletion of the country’s natural resources.
Whilst human activities on the land are significantly eroding away the land, it is the increasing frequency and increasing intensity of cyclones, floods and drought, brought on by climate change, that are making the greatest impact on the ecology, economy and the food security of Madagascar.
The government of Madagascar has resolved to fight against deforestation and the degradation of land, thereby reducing the country’s carbon emissions. According to Conservation International Madagascar, stopping deforestation would lead to a 20% reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted.
Several initiatives have been launched to combat poverty and global warming, including the National Programme for Adapting to Climate Change (PANA). In the agricultural sector, where poor practices such as overgrazing are common, farmers are being encouraged to practice crop rotation to help regenerate soils in vital nutrients and minerals. Installing windbreaks, using fertilizers, and planting trees have also been introduced.
In order that farmers can practice these methods, they need to access the technologies and infrastructure that make it possible. Equally, giving farmers training, coordinating information campaigns and encouraging experience sharing amongst farmers are important measures to ensure that best practice can be maintained.
This initiative was provided by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).