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Support to the local Skills Center in agroecology
SWISSAID supports family farms and professional organizations in Guinea-Bissau to implement their agricultural activities. In order to develop these activities, SWISSAID wishes to set up a local skills center in agroecology.
Agrisud supports SWISSAID in this initiative carrying out training and follow-up activities with about 20 members from this hub.
The expected benefits of this collaboration are at two levels:
- producers: by providing concrete answers to the problems they encounter in the implementation of their market-gardening activities, and especially issues concerning the protection of soil fertility, water resources and pest pressure;
- SWISSAID and its partners: by supporting them to establish a skills development center in agroecology for efficient crop and livestock systems, also well adapted to the region context.
Learning cycle « Management advice for sustainable agriculture »
This cycle was designed especially for the project's needs based on both guides « Agroecology in Practice » (Agrisud, 2010) and « Managing Advice for family farms (VSB) » (Agrisud, 2015). It is addressed to the teams / partners who support farmers and professional agricultural organizations.
It is based on the transfer of methodologies and tools:
- understand the farming operation and how it works;
- understand agroecology and its economic, social and environmental dimensions;
- understand the principles of sustainable management of an agrosystem;
- analyze an intervention situation, identify appropriate agro-ecological practices;
- knowledge of basic agro-economic concepts;
- identify outcome indicators;
- collect and process data related to company results and environmental changes;
- be able to advise a company (observations, follow-up of recommendations and analysis of the results taking into account the environment).
Expected results:Support mission Budget :€100,000 over 2015-2020 Funding :Swissaid Project management :Agrisud in support of Swissaid (training and follow-up) Partnerships :Swissaid
Establishment of a locals supply chains for fresh products
The co-developed solution therefore consists in strengthening local supply chains on a win-win principle:
- Club Med villages benefit from quality agro-ecological products, traceability and, ultimately, a positive image valued by their customers;
- family farms are improving their practices in order to have quality products, in quantity and regularity, and benefit from a new sales channel (improvement in income).
Since the start of 2019, the villages of Albion and Pointe aux Canonniers, on Mauritius, have been part of this process. The development of new agricultural practices that are more respectful of the environment are in line with the national strategies in force on the island.
This action contributes to 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals:
Expected results:15 VSE Budget :€34,000 in 2019 Funding :Club Med Project management :Agrisud Partnerships :Club Med
Professionalizing agriculture — Itasy region
The Itasy Region, close to Antananarivo, has a great farming potential but the production is still limited and threatened by the farmers’ low technical and management skills and also by a natural fragile environment.
Thanks to the project, 2000 farmers are receiving technical and economical reinforcement in order to professionalize their activities in production, management and marketing.
Expected results:2,000 agricultural VSB (Very Small Businesses) supported in 10 municipalities, one training center created. Budget :€773,000 over 2008-2016 Funding :Aquitaine’s Regional Council, Foundation Enterprise and Solidarity, FIDA ( International Fund for Agricultural Development) and Agrisud Project management :Agrisud. Partnerships :Ilofosana.
Evaluation of the farms’ carbon footprint in the Itasy project
If small family farms adopt agroecology it could be a real solution to lower the agricultural carbon footprint. However, the workings of the agricultural systems are complex and there is a lack of reference when considering specific emission standards in Madagascar, therefore, it is difficult to measure specifically environmental advantages.
The project’s goal is to set up a method to evaluate the farms’ carbon footprint. It will identify the emission standards specific to the Region’s agricultural system.
Expected results:Measurement of the carbon footprint of the different farming models proposed in the Itasy project Budget :€24,000 over 2010-2012. Funding :Veolia Environnement. Project management :Agrisud. Partnerships :Veolia Environment, IRD - Institute of Research for Development, UMR Eco&Sol, LRI – Laboratory of Radioisotopes from Antananarivo’s University, GoodPlanet – and Etc Terra.
Agroforestry and forestry farming systems — Itasy region
The farming areas of the Itasy Region are located in the Central Highlands, near Antananarivo, the Capital city. They are significantly deteriorated: erosions are frequent and forests are disappearing.
The Region’s farmers’ production systems are declining; therefore the project’s aim is to follow their evolution so they can be sustainable and last in time. It should also estimate the impact of implemented agroecological and forestry practices on climate change.
Expected results:1,200 agricultural VSB (Very Small Businesses) supported, carbon footprint evaluation. Budget :€1,009,000 over 2011-2016. Funding :AFD (Agence Française de Développement), Stars Services and Aquitaine’s Regional Council. Project management :GoodPlanet Foundation, Etc Terra and Agrisud Partnerships :Etc Terra, AMADESE (Malagasy Association for the Economic, Social and Environmental Development), IRD-LRI and IOGA (Antananarivo’s Institute and Observatory of Geophysics).
Learning cycle promoting agroecological practices
Agrisud has a constant focus on boosting the action capacities of NGOs, organizations, professional groups, and also those of its own projects’ teams. Transfers of skills are made via « learning cycles ».
Promoting agroecological practices
Based on the “Agroecology in Practice” guide (Agrisud, 2010), this course helps participants learn these practices. It is based on transferring methods and tools to:
- Understand agroecology and its economic, social and environmental dimensions;
- Understand the sustainable management of a farming system;
- Analyze the context of operation and identify the appropriate agroecological practices;
- Be able to spread these practices.
Expected results:195 participants, from 83 organizations coming from 5 different regions of Madagascar, trained to good agroecological practices. Budget :€100,000 over 2008-2013. Funding :the Aquitaine Region, Stars Service, Veolia and the European Union. Project management :Agrisud. Partnerships :the involved NGOs.
Support to income-generating activities – Hauts-Plateaux
De nombreuses organisations locales contribuent au développement Agricole à Madagascar. Elles se caractérisent par une grande hétérogénéité en termes d’échelles d’intervention, de cibles, de secteurs d’activité, et de professionnalisme.
Le projet propose une démarche de renforcement individualisé de 60 organisations (ONG, coopératives, Associations de producteurs), afin qu’elles disposent à la fois de bases de gouvernances solides, de méthodes et techniques d’intervention pertinents, et d’une reconnaissance de leurs capacités d’intervention.
Expected results:60 Malagasy organizations reinforced in order to promote and support income-generating activities in rural areas Budget :€604,000 over 2012-2016 Funding :European Union, Agrisud, CITE, Caritas, CEAS Project management :Agrisud. Partnerships :CITE.
Management of Zambazamba’s watershed’s integrated water resources
In Madagascar, even if the Water Code stipulates that clean drinking water is a priority compared to agricultural water, it is however the opposite that happens to ensure rice production and food security.
Because of these tensions over the use of water, the project aims to reduce the impact of farming, forestry and pastoral activities on the water resource in the Nasandratrony commune, specifically in Zambazamba’s watershed.
It will be the source of drinking water for the district’s main town.
Expected results:50 VSB (Very Small Businesses) - A protected watershed; more water upstream and an economic use of water resources downstream through the spread of an intensive and improved rice system concerning 50 farmers. Measurement of the impact of agricultural practices on water. Budget :€42,000 over 2014-2016. Funding :The French Water Agency of Rhône-Méditerrannée-Corse, Madagascar’s French Embassy and The Grand Lyon Project management :Etc Terra (leader) and Agrisud. Partnerships :Grand Lyon, Haute Matsiatra Region
Holistic conservation program (PHCF – Phase II) — Comatsa and Beampingaratsy areas
Madagascar has a great biodiversity but its natural capital is threatened by deforestation, about 0,53% per year. 50,000 hectares of its natural forest disappears every year.
The aim of the Holistic conservation program (or PHCF in French) is to reduce the rhythm of deforestation.
For this purpose it uses two strategies: on one hand, it raises the awareness of local populations on the decentralized management of environment and on the other hand, it promotes activities and alternative techniques rather than slash-and-burn farming and collecting forest resources.
Expected results:1.350 VSB (Very Small Businesses) - Support for populations neighboring two REDD+ projects (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of Forests) to develop alternative activities and practices to slash- and-burn farming Budget :€1,230,000 over 2014-2018 Funding :The French Agency for Development (AFD) – FFEM and Air France Project management :Etc Terra (contracting authority and leader) and Agrisud. Partnerships :WWF, Antananarivo University.
Peri-urban farming supply chain professionalization in Northern Antananarivo (PROFAPAN)
This project falls in line with previous projects, which have been led by Agrisud since 2008 in Antananarivo’s suburbs. They highlighted the importance of periurban agriculture, supplying food for Antananarivo and creating jobs and income. They identified a great potential for the development of systems, assets but also technical, economic, structural and environmental constraints specific to this sector.
On the other hand, the Malagasy Intercooperation Association (AIM) collaborated with the economic actors of the Analamanga Region, as part of the establishment of Agricultural Service Centers (2008-2010), and the Regional Fund for Agricultural Development (2011-2013). The two organizations share their knowledge, skills and know-how in order to develop and implement the project.
Overall goals: to sustainably contribute to the fight against poverty in the city’s suburbs and to protect the environment.
Specific goals: to sustainably improve the periurban producers’ and traders’ income as well as the people's access to a regular supply (in quantity, quality and diversity) in fresh produces, fruits and farm chickens, sold on the local markets.
Three complementary lines of action will improve the supply of the city’s markets, in a chain-based approach:
- Professionalization of the production through the dissemination of agroecological systems and practices to ensure an improvement in production:
- in quantity (increasing productivity and ecological intensification systems)
- in quality (improving the products’ life span, reducing the pesticide residues, organoleptic quality)
- in diversity (diversification within highly specialized production areas)
- in regularity (seasonal adjustment of production by the use of varieties and appropriate methods: varieties adapted to photoperiod, tolerant/resistant, protected crops ...)
- Professionalization of marketing:
- by supporting the local project management in regard to infrastructure and / or organizing peripheral markets (Talatamaty, Anosizato, Sabotsy-Namehana...),
- by professionalizing pro-active collectors on short supply chains. The most favored supply chains will ensure the maintenance of the periurban production: freshness, traceability, reduction of losses (less handling, improved packaging and transport conditions)
- Building and developing a range of services supported by Producers’ Organizations (PO): the challenge is to facilitate the producer’s access to agricultural services and markets.
The action builds the capacity of PO in order to meet these expectations:
- producers’ needs diagnosis in connection with the production and marketing systems
- building capacity and structuration of farmers and producers groups
- PO professionalization (Consolidating their operation, governing and strengthening their technical capacity to provide quality services and meet the producers’ expectations).
Learn more about the Agroforestry Support Program around Antananarivo (ASA) : (French video)
Expected results:5,000 periurban producers around Antananarivo Budget :€1,740,000 over 2015-2019 Funding :European Union, Ecological center Albert Schweitzer (CEAS), municipalities benefiting from the project Project management :Agrisud Partnerships :AIM (Association Intercoopérations Madagascar), CIRAD, MPE