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A comprehensive scoping and assessment study of climate smart agriculture (CSA) policies in Madagascar
30 April 2014
Dr Rakotondrasoa Lovanirina Olivia and Mrs Ratovo Olitina


1.1 Country overview of agriculture, land, and food security issues

With 59 million hectare of surface, Madagascar are covered with 8% agriculture land, 21% of forest, 57% of pasture. Three (03) issues persist in Madagascar, soil degradation and exhaustion, biodiversity degradation and human environment degradation (MEF, 2003).

First, the agriculture problems according to the PADR (Action Plan for Rural Development) in 2001 are: institutions and rules, empowerment of civil society and production system. To tackle the issues, the government opts for decentralization to find solution for each 22 regions of Madagascar. In addition, the ministry of agriculture developed the green revolution since 2007 to improve land use techniques.

Secondly, the country's natural resources have the potential to generate substantial and tangible economic benefits but their management is affected by a lack of sustainable financing mechanisms and poor governance (Wolrd Bank, 2013). However, the environment is among the priorities of the Government of Madagascar in its strategy of development and poverty reduction. Thus, there are many international treaties that Madagascar had adopted and much more local policies to reach the development goal according to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

Finally, with 19 million of habitat, 72 % of Malagasy population depend to the agriculture and live in a vulnerable area in the countryside. Nevertheless, the decline in agricultural production causes a rise in malnutrition rates and food insecurity. For instance, the first alarm in food security in Madagascar was in 2004 with the rice crisis. Since then the government in collaboration with International Organization such FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) try to solve the problem in both national level and in local level (family and individual). Thus, the PANSA (National Action Programme on Food Security) had been adopted in 2005.

Beside these issues, climate change has the real potential to halt or undermine economic development in Madagascar and is threatening the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (WWF & al, 2013). Therefore, Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one approach that is being widely promoted as the future for Agriculture (agriculture, livestock, forestry) and as a viable answer to climate change. FAO considers CSA as a combined policy, technology and financing approach to enable countries to achieve sustainable agricultural development under climate change. The CSA approach involves the direct incorporation of climate change adaptation and mitigation into agricultural development planning and investment strategies (FAO, 2012).

In this context, FANRPAN programme (Food Agriculture Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network) promotes CSA in Africa. The overall objective of the FANRPAN CSA policy programme is to increase agricultural productivity and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers to the impact of climate change. This study is initiated by FANRPAN in collaboration of the ministry of agriculture in Madagascar to seek to:

  • Conduct comprehensive reviews of the existing CSA policy context in Madagascar;
  • Analyze gaps in the existing policy frameworks;
  • Identify relevant policy recommendations;
  • Develop and share policy recommendations (briefs) at national and regional levels.

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