In 2019, AFD has allocated €92.7M to Civil Society Organization (CSO) projects within the framework of the CSO Initiatives mechanism. Among the emblematic projects and programs highlighted in its 2020 Activity and Societal Responsibility Report, AFD quotes an action by Fert which aims to structure the supply of fresh and healthy agricultural products in the production areas around the capital, Antananarivo, in Madagascar.
This action has been initiated in 2015 within the framework of the partnership between Fert and the professional agricultural organizations of the Fifata group already present in 10 of the 22 Malagasy regions. The capital Antananarivo concentrates about 3.4 million residents, 12% of the total population. Improving production conditions and supporting the organization of farmers on the outskirts of the capital is therefore strategic for a national farmers organization like Fifata.
A first step of the program (2015-2019) was supported by the European Union. AFD’s funding (€0.495M) for the 2019-2021 period takes over from this support because such agricultural development action can only be devised to cover the long term.
Fert and its partners (the Malagasy farmers organizations Fifata, Ceffel and Cap Malagasy) are working on several levers:
- The improvement of agricultural techniques and practices, through the deployment of a network of agricultural advisors, the dissemination of agro-ecological practices and the experimentation of innovations, in particular for better water management;
- The improvement of commercialization conditions for products, thanks to better information on prices, a better knowledge of markets and the support of local commercialization solutions;
- The structuring of value chains, from grass-roots FOs up to producers’ unions;
- The professionalization of relay farmers and the development of the skills of farmers’ leaders.
2,800 producers, 300 relay farmers, 225 farmers’ leaders, 250 local organizations and 20 value chain unions at the communal and regional levels are supported as part of this action.
Fert has been supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) since 1986. Initially most of actions supported concerned North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia in particular) and then were extended to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Madagascar is the country where Fert’s action is the most important and it is also the country that has benefited the most from AFD’s technical and financial support. This long-term and continuous support has been fundamental to structuring substainably a national professional organization like Fifata which proposes essential agricultural services (consulting, training, financing, land security …) to its 300 000 members.