MADAGASCAR – The Madagascan authorities plan to increase the cassava harvest to 7 million tonnes by 2027, more than double the stock achieved in 2022, Agence Ecofin has reported.
Within the framework of this objective, the government intends to improve the yield per hectare to almost 14 tonnes, in particular through the popularization of appropriate farming techniques and the strengthening of the supply of high-yielding varieties.
In Madagascar, rice is the dominant food crop, whereas cassava and maize are other staple crops grown. For cassava, 60% of the tuber supply is dedicated to animal consumption. By 2020, the country was the 13th largest cassava producer in Africa according to FAOStat data.
Meanwhile, the Big Island is one of the countries most exposed to extreme climatic phenomena, including drought, a situation which has a severe impact on agriculture and contributes to making agricultural households more vulnerable.
According to Report Linker outlook, the Malagasy cassava is set to drop slightly, reaching 2.1 million metric tons by 2026.
However, the country has embarked on a recent aggressiveness to boost local production through a raft of measures. This follows that the agricultural sector contributes 24% to GDP and employs about 64% of the active population.
Recently, under President Andry Rajoelina’s directive, the executives kicked off the construction of a US$73 million aqueduct in the Great South, a project envisaged to be complete by next year.
The initiative is part of the interventions planned by the executive to combat the devastating consequences of the drought that has persisted for more than 4 years.
In addition, the World Food Program (WFP) also estimates that this climatic phenomenon is currently jeopardizing the food and nutritional security of more than 1.47 million people in this part of the country.
According to the released statement, the project infrastructure would extend over a length of 97 km to carry drinking water and irrigate land through 60 villages in three districts.
In detail, the new infrastructure, once operational, should allow 500,000 people to have better access to drinking water and irrigate a combined area of 80,000 hectares of agricultural land in the long term.
Also, the Madagascan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock signed a cooperation agreement with the Zimbabwean seed company for the local production of new high-yield maize seed aimed at boosting food security
In addition, the African Development Bank (AFDB) in partnership with the government of Madagascar recently launched a US$ 20 million Emergency Food Production Reinforcement Project, envisioned to increase the productivity of cereal and oilseed crops.