Interview of a farmer in a manioc field, Central Menabe, Madagascar. Journal MCD.

Recommandations pour une agriculture plus écologique respectant les besoins socio-économiques locaux, région du Menabe Central côte ouest de Madagascar

Clémence Dirac Ramohavelo, Jean-Pierre Sorg, Alexandre Buttler, Michael Reinhard

Abstract


In the Central Menabe region on the west cost of Madagascar, traditional uses of forest resources create an increasingly open landscape. The current annual rate of loss of Malagasy dense dry forest, the natural forest type of the region, is 0.7 %. Agriculture represents the principal activity of people in Central Menabe, and the main reason for the decrease in forest cover. In the cur­rent difficult socio-economical context (81.3 % of the Malagasy population lived under the poverty line in 2010), where a threat to dry forests clearly exists, it is therefore urgent to propose scientifically-sound and participatory recommendations for ecologically sustainable and socio - economically profitable agricultural use of the Central Menabe landscape. The objective of this study is to confirm the hypothesis that a more sustainable form of agriculture – promoting farmers’ permanent use of cultivated fields – would generate high value economic products, and contribute to the socio - economic and environmental needs of the region. To meet this objective, the study answers three research questions: i) What are the principal products of the villager economy? ii) what is the role of traditional agriculture in deforestation?; and, iii) what is the potential for, and the expectations of the local populations towards, more sedentary agricultural techniques? The research uses methods from both social (scoring and questionnaires) and natural sciences (inventories and measures of clearings), and was carried out in six villages representative of the Central Menabe region. Two villages mainly practiced rice cultivation, two mainly carried out slash and burn cultivation (of maize, cassava and peanut), and two practiced both slash and burn and rice cultivation. Half of the villages were situated near a national road and have thus an easy access to regional markets; the three other villages were more remote. In total 120 inhabitants were involved in 72 different scoring exercises and 288 participated in a questionnaire survey. Mann-Whitney and chi - square tests were used to test for statistical significance in observed differences.

Analyses confirm that rice is the main pillar of the villager economy in the region, and that – at the village scale – this product serves a strong commercial demand which is not always satisfied. Farmers take a weak interest in the consumption of products from slash and burn cultivation (low demand), although the majority of people that cultivate maize, cassava or peanut perceive slash and burn cultivation as a source of alimentary or financial security (subsistence or sale). Given that the deforestation practice has been illegal since 1988, and the strong pressure of international biodiversity conservation organisations, the role of agriculture in deforestation is clearly a sensitive issue, almost a taboo. This study, however, confirms that nearly all slash and burn farmers (97 %) clear forest to cultivate, which exceeds the rate of clearing for rice cultivation. As the local population is open to more sedentary agricultural alternatives, four recommendations are proposed: i) Rice culti­vation should be favoured, valorizing irrigation fields which are still not cultivated; ii) ethnicities who do not cultivate rice can be encouraged to cultivate trees and to use hedges and natural fertilizers. These techniques could favour farmers’ settlement on cultivated fields, increasing agricultural yields and providing highly - appreciated commercial products, such as fruits; iii) new alternatives that could diversify farmers’ income, such as fish farming in existing rice fields, should be favoured in order to improve livelihoods; and iv) the management of cleared forest areas should be set up in a participative way in order to legally satisfy local people’s needs and the protection of natural forests.

 

Résumé

Dans le Menabe Central (côte ouest de Madagascar), les paysages forestiers deviennent toujours plus ouverts, le taux de déforestation avoisinant les 0,7 %. La déforestation étant notamment due à des défrichements pour l’agriculture qui est la principale activité de la région, une gestion agricole écologiquement durable apparaît comme une nécessité urgente. Afin de ne pas défavoriser les populations locales vivant dans des conditions socio-économiques difficiles (81,3 % de la population malgache vivait encore en - dessous du seuil de pauvreté en 2010), cet aménagement agricole doit également viser à proposer des recommandations socio - économiquement rentables. Cette étude vise donc à confirmer l’hypothèse selon laquelle une agriculture plus écologique – permettant aux agriculteurs de se sédentariser sur leurs terres et diminuant les défrichements forestiers – qui fournirait des produits économiquement rentables sur le long terme répondrait aux nécessités socio-économiques et écologiques locales. La présente étude conclut en mettant en évidence quatre recommandations : i) La riziculture devrait être privilégiée ; ii) les techniques agro - forestières et les utilisa­tions de fertilisants naturels devraient être encouragées ; iii) des alternatives permettant de diversifier le revenu des populations rurales, telle que la rizipisciculture, devraient être soutenues ; et iv) un aménagement des surfaces sylvicoles défrichées devrait être mis en place de manière participative.

 


Keywords


Forêt dense sèche; diminution de la pauvreté; culture sur brûlis; riziculture; aménagement; rizipisculture; tavy; tropical dry forest; Central Menabe; socio-economical needs; rice; farming; interviews

Full Text:

PDF

References


Blanc-Pamard, C., Milleville, P., Grouzis, M., Lasry, F. et Razanaka, S. 2005. Une alliance de disciplines sur une question environnementale : La déforestation en forêt des Mikea (sud-ouest de Madagascar). Natures Sciences Sociétés 13, 1: 7–20. (doi:10.1051/nss:2005002)

Dirac Ramohavelo, C. 2009. Stratégies villageoises dans la gestion des pay¬sages forestiers, Menabe Central Madagascar. Thèse de doctorat non publiée, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Suisse. Disponible

Fauroux, E. 1997. Les représentations du monde végétal chez les Sakalava du Menabe. In: Milieux et Sociétés dans le Sud-ouest de Madagascar. J.-M. Lebigre, E. Fauroux, B. Moizo, J. Taillade, P. Vasseur, C. Henry-Chartier et P. Henry (eds.), pp. 7–26. Collection Îles et Archipels, Bordeaux, France.

Favre, J.-C. 1996. Traditional utilization of the forest. In: Ecology and Economy of a Tropical Dry Forest in Madagascar, Primate Report 46-1. J. U. Ganzhorn & J.-P. Sorg (eds.), pp 33–40. Erich Goltze GmbH & Co KG, Göttingen, Allemagne.

Frei, M. & Becker, K. 2005. Integrated rice-fish culture: Coupled production saves resources. Natural Resources Forum 29, 2: 135–143. (doi:10.1111/j.1477-8947.2005.00122.x)

Ganzhorn, J. U., Lowry, P. P., Schatz, G. E. & Sommer, S. 2001. The biodiversity of Madagascar: one of the world’s hottest hotspots on its way out. Oryx 35, 4: 346–348. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3008.2001.00201.pp.x)

Genini, M. 1996. Deforestation. In: Ecology and Economy of a Tropical Dry Forest in Madagascar, Primate Report 46-1. J. U. Ganzhorn & J.-P. Sorg (eds), pp 49–55. Erich Goltze GmbH & Co KG, Göttingen, Allemagne.

Illukpitiya, P. & Yanagida, J. 2008. Role of income diversification in protecting natural forests: evidence from rural households in forest margins of Sri Lanka. Agroforestry Systems 74, 1: 51–62. (doi:10.1007/s10457-008-9153-2)

Kaimowitz, D. & Sheil, D. 2007. Conserving what and for whom? Why conservation should help meet basic human needs in the tropics. Biotropica 39, 5: 567–574. (doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2007.00332.x)

Kos, C., Ramaroson, H. et Janssen, J. 1993. Étude de l’impact quantitatif des activités rizipiscicoles et piscicoles dans les régions pilotes du Vakinankaratra et du Betsileo, Campagne 1991–1992. téléchargé le 10 décembre 2008.

Le Bourdiec, F. 1980. Le développement de la riziculture dans l’Ouest malgache. In: Changements Sociaux dans l’Ouest Malgache. R. Waast, E. Fauroux, B. Schlemmer, F. Le Bourdiec, J.-P. Raison et G. Dandoy (eds.), pp. 133–152. Collection Mémoires, 90, ORSTOM, Paris.

McConnell, W. J. & Kull, C. A. 2014. Deforestation in Madagascar; Debates over the island’s forest cover and challenges of measuring forest change. In: Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar. I. Scales (ed.), pp 65–104. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York.

Moat, J. & Smith, P. 2007. Atlas of the vegetation of Madagascar. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, U.K.

Pollini, J., Hockley, N., Muttenzer, F. D. & Ramamonjisoa, B. S. 2014. The transfer of natural resource management rights to local communities. In: Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar. I. Scales (ed.), pp 172–192. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York.

Raharimalala, O., Buttler, A., Dirac Ramohavelo, C., Razanaka, S., Sorg, J.-P. & Gobat, J.-M. 2010. Soil-vegetation patterns in secondary slash and burn successions in Central Menabe, Madagascar. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 139, 1–2: 150–158. (doi:10.1016/j.agee.2010.07.013)

Rakotovao, A. S., Razafindrabe M. et Bertrand A.1997. Vers la gestion communautaire locale des feux de végétation à Madagascar: L’élaboration de Dina types pour la gestion locale des feux dans diverses régions de Madagascar. Akon’ny Ala 20: 8–22.

Ranaivonasy, J., Durbin, J. et Raharinjanahary, H. 2005. Étude de l’Évolution des Différents Régimes de Gestion des Aires Protégées à Madagascar (A Review of Development of Different Management Regimes for the New Protected Areas in Madagascar). Étude de Cas : la Future Aire Protégée du Menabe Central. Disponible

Réau, B. 2002. Burning for zebu: the complexity of deforestation issues in western Madagascar. Norwegian Journal of Geography 56, 3: 219–229. (doi:10.1080/00291950260293048)

Scales, I. R. 2011. Farming at the forest frontier: Land use and landscape change in Western Madagascar, 1896–2005. Environment and History 17: 499–524. (doi:10.3197/096734011X13150366551481)

Scales, I. R. 2012. Lost in translation: conflicting views of deforestation, land use and identity in western Madagascar. The Geographical Journal 178, 1: 67–79. (doi:10.1111/j.1475–4959.2011.00432.x)

Sheil, D. & Liswanti, N. 2006. Scoring the importance of tropical forest landscapes with local people: Patterns and insights. Environmental Management 38, 1: 126–136. (doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0092-7)

Waeber, P. O., Wilmé, L., Ramamonjisoa, B., Garcia, C., Rakotomalala, D., Rabemananjara, Z. H., Kull, C., Ganzhorn, J. U. & Sorg, J.-P. 2014 (In press). Dry Forests in Madagascar, neglected and under pressure. International Forestry Review.

World Development Indicators 2014. Disponible




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v9i1.3

Madag. conserv. dev.
ISSN: 1662-2510