Although it was one of the first two Fekama colleges to see the light of day, in 2003, the Bezezika agricultural college in Madagascar had to cease its initial training activity at the end of 2019. After several years of rehabilitation, the college reopened at the end of May 2021 by reinventing its training offer.
The Bezezika college, a member of Fekama, the Federation of Agricultural Colleges of Madagascar supported by Fert, had ceased its activity in 2019. Its closure was linked to the difficulties of maintaining a sufficient number of students, as a result of the families’ lack of interest in a long education and their poverty. In addition, the infrastructure had deteriorated considerably.
VFTM-Fifata, a regional farmers’ organization in the Menabe region, wanted to develop this site for its members. They worked hard to involve local authorities and the IFAD-funded Formaprod program in their project. The latter have contributed to the rehabilitation of the buildings (dormitories, classrooms, sanitary facilities) in order to welcome the short training trainees in good conditions.
“There are eyes on the college and its new infrastructure, it is a fresh look at our college. We want to continue this way… What a surprise! The number of young people wishing to follow the training is about 100. Our college is a pride for us, members of VFTM, for the Commune of Bezezika and for the Menabe Region.”
Roger Herinandrasana RAKOTONIRINA
Chairman of VFTM
VFTM-Fifata wanted to expand its training offer. The college now offers short training courses for young farmers in livestock production (goat, poultry, pig) and has a showcase farm, particularly in market gardening.
Financial support from Fekama has made it possible to purchase the livestock and equipment needed to launch the first short training course.
From May 31 to June 30, 2021, the college was able to host its first training course on goat farming. 30 young people, including 15 women, aged 19 to 33 years and coming from the districts of Mahabo and Morondava participated after being identified by the elected officials of VFTM-Fifata.
Although it is a short course, it was designed to provide young people with basic skills in agricultural techniques, farm management, marketing, communication and project development. Because of the wide range of levels (post-primary to baccalaureate), a refresher course was offered to young people with low academic levels, particularly in arithmetic and note-taking.
In addition to the practical courses, model producers welcomed the young people on their farms.
At the end of the training, each young person received a goat as a “helping hand” for the development of the farm.