Agroforestry and coffee in Madagascar

Another Great Coffee Blog!

Coffee nursery in Ambiabe Ifanadia, Madagascar, SPICES staff Mahefa Ravalison and Jean Jacques, March 2021

we don’t always think about coffee while we often hear about lemurs, vanilla and other spices when talking about Madagascar. However, Madagascar has been a producer that is long-time of – both arabica and robusta that is primarily purchased, offered and consumed in regional areas. There are coffee in just about any market that is local and usually a strong dose is mixed with just enough sugar and condensed milk to soften the bite. 

Additionally, Madagascar was identified with some of the most unique, and varieties that are at-risk the planet. Are you aware that a naturally caffeine variety that is free be found in the forests of Madagascar?

Robusta Coffee in Madagascar

During the colonial period (1897-1958), the French divided up the country into several agricultural zones with coffee being prioritized in the east and southeast. Robusta trees are thus mainly found along the coast that is eastern a location where CRS happens to be employed by years to guide farmers and minimize the effects of serious deforestation as a result of charcoal manufacturing, slash and burn off farming plus some mining. Numerous coffee woods are very old, of reduced quality, and a lot of farmers haven’t been trained on agronomy rules – mulching, pruning, etc. – when planting trees that are new. CRS has worked with the government research facility, FOFIFA (Centre National de la Recherche Appliquée au Développement Rural / Foibem-pirenena momba ny Fikarohana ampiharina amin’ny Fampandrosoana ny eny*) that is ambanivohitra( on lots of fronts within the work to enhance the coffee sector in the nation, including focus on a fresh good quality  biclonal coffee variety. 

CRS and FOFIFA put up mother that is new and subsequent smaller nurseries which have become incredibly popular. Thus far, 20 nursery managers have been trained as lead farmers who then provide the training that is practical their neighbor farmers. Up to now, the nursery internet sites happen in a position to create 81,179 coffee flowers that may protect over 17 ha. of coffee plantations.

Now, through the Securing and Protecting Investments & Capacities for Environmental Sustainability (SPICES) system, coffee is an species that is integral into integrated agroforestry systems that include cash crops (coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.), fruits and endemic trees – to both restore land and improve livelihoods. Coffee is an asset that is important the farmers, as the harvested Sept-Oct right whenever families have to spend college costs because of their young ones. And also this falls throughout the slim period, allowing farmers to fall straight back on coffee is important to making ends fulfill during what’s frequently a period that is difficult. 

Agroforestry for people, profit and planet:  what does an ideal system look like?

Coffee is but one crop in the agroforestry system being considered and promoted by the program that is SPICEs. But exactly what does an agroforestry system look like actually? How layers that are many in something? Just how can we design someone to deliver the level that is highest of economic return for the farmer while also promoting sustainability, reforestation, and climate mitigation? 

With so many interrelated variables affecting AFS, innumerable designs for any given location that is geographic feasible.  In Madagascar, the SPICES task was using the Centre ValBio. This conservation that is local works to protect Madagascar’s unique and biologically diverse ecosystems through conversation science and projects that directly benefit the local people. Together with CRS, Valbio is helping to design agroforestry that is appropriate for the SPICES program.

The project’s agroforestry designs function four to five key strata, or levels, all of which acts a purpose that is specific. The below schema represents one design that is suchMusaceae are banana trees).

While coffee is certainly one selection for money crop that is generating many options exist, and farmers often combine multiple crops. In the example below, cinnamon and vanilla happen chosen as money plants, while cloves and pineapple offer further earnings. 

The situation above presents one feasible objective that is ideal but is also representative of what some farmers are already striving towards in an attempt to diversify their incomes. Currently, as the program is still young, SPICES is nurseries that are installing creating seedlings for reforestation, including both indigenous types and the ones associated with income plants. Whilst the task scales up, it shall be exciting to see which agroforestry designs are many used by farmers.

For further concerns, please get in touch with the CRS Chief of Party, Jim Hazen,