Mahavotra

 Pilot project to evaluate the carbon impact through changes in agricultural practices in Madagascar

 

  • Launched: 2011 / Duration: 5 years / Budget: 1 M€
  • Field partners: GOODPLANET FOUNDATION, AGRISUD INTERNATIONAL, AMADESE, IRD, IOGA, LRI
  • Financial partners: AFD, REGION AQUITAINE, STAR'S SERVICE, PLANET ACTION

 

Context

The Itasy agricultural region, south of Antananarivo, is dominated by rice cultivation. Its proximity to the capital allows producers to take advantage of a big distribution market and of an existing trade network for agricultural products.
Although partly situated in a volcanic zone with relatively rich soil, the agricultural terrain is heavily degraded, erosion is frequent, and forests are rapidly disappearing. The region’s agricultural production systems are in decline and need to evolve in order to survive.
In this context, the Mahavotra project was implemented in Madagascar in 2011 in partnership with Agrisud International and through co-financing of the French Development Agency, the Star's Service company and the Aquitaine Region.

 

Project 

The objective is to train 1,200 farm families spread throughout 8 rural cities (Alatsinainikely, Ambohitrambo, Ampahimanga, Ankaranana, Analavory, Arivonimamo II, Imerintsiatosika, Miarinarivo II) in the implementation of agro-ecological practices and to restore 900 ha of degraded land, in particular by planting 500,000 trees integrated into the farming systems.
The objective is to train 1,200 farm families spread throughout 8 rural cities (Alatsinainikely, Ambohitrambo, Ampahimanga, Ankaranana, Analavory, Arivonimamo II, Imerintsiatosika, Miarinarivo II) in the implementation of agro-ecological practices and to restore 900 ha of degraded land, in particular by planting 500,000 trees integrated into the farming systems.


The project is divided into 2 main components

  • The agroecological component which aims to restore the local environment and the adoption of efficient and sustainable agricultural practices,
  • The carbon component, which aims to assess the impact of these actions on climate change mitigation.

 

View achievements on the geoportal dedicated to the project

 

 

 

Benefits

 

Environmental benefits

  • Maintenance and growth of forest cover,
  • Protection of agricultural parcels and reduction of soil erosion,
  • Improved availability and quality of water resources,
  • Improved retention of minerals in the soil,
  • Reduced use of synthetic chemical inputs,
  • Reduced environmental impact of livestock activities by improving available forage,
  • Fighting climate change by reducing the GHG emissions of agricultural practices and carbon storage in the soil and the tree biomass.
 

Economic and social benefits

  • Improved food safety,
  • Improvement and diversification of rural incomes in the mid- and long-term,
  • Revitalization of agriculture and sustainable improvement of agricultural production,
  • Reduced vulnerability of farm families through the creation of forest resources that can be mobilized in case of operational difficulties,
  • Development of marginal terrains leading to a diversification of rural activities and the creation of new jobs (lumberjacks, sawyers, carpenters, coal producers...),
  • Improvement of local skills through training and advisory support,
  • Formalization of land titles with a view towards official recognition of customary land rights,
  • Maintenance and/or growth in the size of production units,
  • Development of a new source of project financing through carbon finance.

 

Panel on a project site. © AMADESE

Historical 

The project began in July 2011 on the heels of a discussion initiated in 2010 between Agrisud and GoodPlanet regarding the extent of the environmental impact of agro-ecological practices in Madagascar. This discussion led to the establishment mid-2010 of a research protocol with the Soil and Climate Change Research Unit of the LRI, whose goal was to test the environmental consequences of agricultural practices proposed by AGRISUD in Itasy. This first phase became the starting point for the development of the Mahavotra project.
 

 

Partners

  • AFD, STAR'S SERVICE and the AQUITAINE REGION co-finance the project with respective stakes of 504 k€ 400 k€ and 63 k€.
  • PLANET ACTION supports the project by providing satellite images.
  • GOODPLANET FOUNDATION provides overall direction of the project and the implementation of the carbon component with the support of ETC TERRA.
  • AGRISUD ensures the implementation of the agroecological component.
  • L'A.MA.D.E.S.E supports the development of fragile areas.
  • IRD and LRI lead the research to develop methods for analyzing and monitoring the carbon footprint of the project.
  • IOGA is involved for the developing of tools required to evaluate the carbon impact of activities on a large scale.