Within the framework of a partnership with the companies Firmenich and Authentic Products, Fert and Fekama – Federation of Agricultural Colleges of Madagascar, a member of the Fifata group – are supporting the development of an agricultural professional training center, the CFPA Mahadera, in the Sava region in the North-East of Madagascar.

Firmenich and Authentic Products, two companies in the vanilla value chain, entrusted Fert, in 2018, with the realization of a feasibility study for the creation of an agricultural professional training center to professionalize the profession of farmer.

The CFPA Mahadera was created in 2019 and welcomed its first class of 28 students (and 8 girls) in January 2020.

To diversify agriculture in the vanilla region

The location of the agricultural training center is not unconnected with the field of activity of Firmenich, a company that creates fragrances and flavors, and its partner, Authentic Products, a vanilla preparation and export company. The Sava region is the first vanilla producing region in Madagascar. But the creation of the center is not limited to the vanilla value chain. Firmenich and Authentic Products wanted to create the first agricultural training center in the region to encourage future farmers to diversify their production and valorize the forest while respecting it.

The CFPA has a pedagogical farm including various farming workshops (cattle, pigs, chicken, fish) and a large number of crops: vegetables, food crops and cash crops (vanilla, cloves, pink berries, cocoa …).

In October 2020, a second class of 47 students (and 11 girls) started the school year despite the difficulties linked to the pandemic.

Fert and Fekama mobilized to support the pedagogical team

Fert and Fekama have been solicited throughout 2020 to support training engineering. The two organizations shared their experience and contributed to train the teaching team of the CFPA to a teaching based on observation and the realization of agricultural activities.

This team has progressively clarified the organization of the training modules and their objectives. It was also accompanied in the conduct of training through observations in the classroom and during practical work.

The support by Fert and Fekama will continue in 2021 and 2022. Several needs have already been identified: the finalization of the training referential, the theoretical and practical evaluation of the students, the implementation of internships and post-training support and the strengthening of the skills of the trainers in the conduct of training.

The trainers will also have the opportunity to participate in inter-trainer meetings and internships in the agricultural colleges of the Fekama federation.