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Agri-food Madagascar – Let’s develop at source

Book News 1

Waking up around 3 a.m. to take fruit and vegetables to « sobikas » (soubes in Malagasy), taking buses from the countryside or walking to the big market, getting up at the crowds around 4 a.m. or even 2 a.m. to water, take care of the crops,… These are the routine of farmers and cultivators in our country.

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In general, most of the middle class who are illiterate are the ones who provide our food. Because we cannot eat papers or silver bills, we consume agri-food products, and currently we even prioritize the idea of eating organic food. Yet these humble people who are at the root of agri-food products are disadvantaged people. 🙁

Malagasy farmers

Most farmers, peasants, farmers, cultivators, rice growers,… are in disadvantaged families. With a more or less stable standard of living depending on the season, they face several difficulties.

agri-food madagascar
Malagasy women cultivators. cc: Flickr/Rod Waddington

The first of their problem is the health problem situation which is very normal since waking up very early in the morning either to go to the market or to the fields as well as having an unbalanced diet are acts that create diseases.

The second problem that cannot be minimized is illiteracy and the non-enrolment of their children in school. Indeed, most farmers start working in the fields from the age of 12 to 13, as soon as they have the strength to plough or cultivate.

Non-schooling is accentuated by the distance between schools and their villages. Apart from these two problems, traditional practices prevail in agriculture in Madagascar, they do not have the necessary materials to work effectively and have not received training to improve their culture.

The list is exhaustive, because the main sources of real agri-food products encounter many problems that hinder their development.

agri-food madagascar
Vegetables are transported by plows from villages to towns. cc: Flickr/Hervé

What if we give our source a boost?

During my journey, I spoke with an entrepreneur, who told me: « If you want to succeed in business creation, and you have no idea of the field. I strongly recommend agri-food, we don’t eat paper or services or anything else, we eat agri-food products ».

It was very true, agri-food and a promising field, but why can’t our farmers say the same, most of them come from disadvantaged families, right?

However, in foreign countries, their farmers have a very good standard of living, several cars, a large house and a very good crop. In fact, the root of the problem is that Malagasy farmers are generally victims of fraud.

We buy their products at very low prices and resell them after reconditioning in a supermarket with an exorbitant price. The sources of agri-food products are isolated because of the roads, a case that must be resolved.

Sometimes, farmers do not have the necessary skills to improve their production. It is requested that the latter receive training in cultivation techniques and assistance to eradicate illiteracy.


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