From 15 to 26 October 2017, a delegation of technicians from the Fifata group from Madagascar visited Reunion Island for an exchange trip. The aim was to feed the group’s reflection on producer services. Numerous visits were made to Cirad, Armefhlor, agricultural vocational training centres and markets.

A stay rich in discoveries and questions that allowed to discover other experiences and innovations, to improve the skills of technicians, but also to create a dynamic cohesion between Ceffel’s technical teams and those of three member federations of Fifata (VFTV, Fifatam, FFTS), or to envisage future partnerships between professional organizations from Réunion and Madagascar.

“At my level, the achievements of this exchange trip are mainly technical, especially on agroecological aspects: techniques were interesting on the use of auxiliaries – wasps, ladybirds – which offer alternatives to the use of chemical products, expensive and harmful to the environment. During the visit to the producers accompanied by CIRAD, I appreciated the use of service plants, which are useful for restoring the balance of the ecosystem.

On the organisational side, however, I am particularly aware of the good collaboration between all producer service organisations and their networking: farmers’ organisations refer producers’ needs to the research bodies that carry out the experiments; they then collaborate with training bodies such as agricultural colleges, cooperatives or chambers of agriculture to ensure that the results are disseminated.

On our return to Madagascar, we were able to envisage the consequences of the partnerships that we were able to outline in Reunion Island: relations with CIRAD to solve problems of diseases on citrus fruits, and for the sanitation of garlic seeds… In addition, a reflection is now taking place within the Fifata group on the marketing of agricultural products.”

Andry Rasamimanana, Ceffel’s center manager