Madagascar has a wealth of natural resources that are just waiting to be exploited. Favourable climate for agriculture, large tracts of arable land, vast wooded areas, large deposits of mineral resources, incomparable biodiversity, abundant labour force… everything is there. The Red Island also has abundant renewable water resources, estimated at 337 km³/year. There are therefore enough to meet the needs related to the development of irrigation potential.
Mismanagement of natural resources
Having a wide range of natural resources does not make Madagascar a rich country. The Grande Ile, where 20% of the population is prone to food insecurity, is even on the list of the poorest countries in the world.
Inadequate management of natural resources is at the root of this scourge that has plagued the Red Island since the dawn of time. The lack of infrastructure only makes the situation worse.
Limited to rudimentary agricultural practices 81% of households, 89% of which are in rural areas of Madagascar, are involved in agricultural activities. That is why agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the country’s economy.
However, farmers who do not have access to improved technologies such as high-yield seeds, fertilizers and agricultural machinery are restricted to subsistence farming with low levels of productivity. Eager to increase production and establish a right to land, the latter engage in the practice of «tavy».
This traditional form of agriculture on brulis is nevertheless detrimental to ecology. Cultivation over successive cycles of rice, cassava and other crops on tavy degrades the soil and triggers large-scale erosion that contributes to siltation of streams, rapidly leading to widespread land and water degradation.
PADAP strives to raise the bar
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MPAE) and its partners have decided to invest in the PADAP project to solve only a part of the above-mentioned problems.
Focusing on good practices in natural resource management, PADAP is a boon for Madagascar’s ecology and economy. The project could also alleviate the daily lives of 4 out of 5 Malagasy people whose livelihood depends on land, water and forests.