The forest wildlife can only be effectively protected if the pressures of human encroachment can be alleviated.

Of particular importance for all local communities within Wildlife Madagascar’s scope will be the need to address agriculture and agroforestry practices. Improving farming methods to achieve greater food security will reduce reliance upon forest exploitation and encourage use of alternative food sources. Through experimental learning and action methods, the initial aim of Wildlife Madagascar will be to increase yields by exploring sustainable agriculture techniques.

Wildlife Madagascar’s programs will target areas that are adjacent to forest and where the local community currently relies on income from logging, poaching, farming activities, and other extractive practices.

The program will seek to:

Increase food security and income generation for local farmers through participatory, sustainable agricultural development and researching the most effective crops and livestock.

Strengthen the capacity of local organizations and farmer leaders to facilitate community-based learning for agriculture and livelihood development.

Farmer Field School

The centerpiece of Wildlife Madagascar’s ecoagriculture efforts will be Farmer Field School.

This entails establishing an “experimental learning field,” where farmers prepare, plant, maintain, and monitor a crop throughout the entire season/cycle of the crop. Field observation, recording, and data analysis is combined with instruction that takes place in the field. In the informal environment of Farmer Field School, farmers learn critical thinking, data collection, data analysis, problem solving, resource management, time management, and group working skills. These are cornerstones of participation in natural resource management, improvements in health and nutrition, and the management of community affairs.

The learning process proposed is farmer-led, and as such, Wildlife Madagascar will not promote pre-packaged agricultural practices or technologies. Rather, we will facilitate a process whereby farmers explore a variety of available options to sustainably develop the agriculture base. This will strengthen farmer groups’ long-term capacity to implement improved agricultural practices and resource management within the agro-ecosystem, with the tools to make effective decisions to meet their needs into the future.