It’s time to share some good news from our sustainable livelihoods project, run by SAF, in the villages surrounding Madagascar’s unique Betampona Reserve. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, they have had a successful year and the development and conservation in the area has achieved good results. The local population are learning ways to improve their agricultural practices to improve their income and nutrition in sustainable ways. This helps reduce the forest being destroyed through ‘slash and burn’ and wildlife poaching.
More productive agricultural techniques have also meant that the diets and therefore the health of the people have improved. The sale of surplus produce provides the people with income to tide them over periods when the land is less productive.
All this is achieved through a range of initiatives:
Reforestation with fast growing tree species has enabled some families to sell timber which in turn reduces deforestation of natural forest.
Training has been given to help increase the yield of rice and vegetable crops and support provided for fish and livestock farmers.
Infrastructure has been improved and installed with dams built to create 15 ha of new rice paddies.
New tree nurseries have been set up and a range of seedlings have been grown including cloves, coffee, cinnamon, lychee and vanilla
This project has been running for 30 years and continues to help the local population understand and make their environment as productive as possible without damaging the natural resources or destroying wildlife habitat.
This year the project has directly benefited almost 1800 people and indirectly over 7000 which is a fantastic achievement.