In Madagascar, the Fifata group, with the support of Fert, has been supporting its member farmers for over 30 years in the technical improvement and management of their farms. To meet the needs of young farmers, Fert and the Fifata group have joined forces with the IECD and its partner MED, whose experience in supporting small entrepreneurs is well known.

More and more farmers who are members of the Fifata group, and in particular the young graduates of the Fekama agricultural colleges, wish to “change scale” and develop their farms by implementing projects that mobilize more capital: larger herds, collection and marketing of agricultural products for their PO, etc. For this, better financial management is essential.

In order to better support these farmers, the Fifata group and Fert have engaged, in March 2020, a collaboration with IECD and MED in order to co-construct three training courses for the rural public:

  • Creation of an agricultural or rural activity/business
  • In-depth financial and commercial management
  • Implementation of collective projects.

MED – Madagascar Entreprise Développement – was born in 2017 thanks to an IECD project aimed at strengthening the informal sector’s contribution to the country’s growth and development, by supporting small entrepreneurs in the development and sustainability of their activities.

A working seminar and regular exchanges between the Fifata and MED groups helped determine the objectives and content of each training course. The work then focused on the construction of the modules and the pedagogical scenario of the in-depth management training.

This collaboration allows the different partners to pool their skills and to offer a training program that approaches farm management from an entrepreneurial perspective, using a variety of tools.

Managing a farm as a business can be very profitable, but requires rigorous management. 10 VSEs – very small agricultural enterprises – members of the Fifata group around Tana and 14 young graduates of Fekama colleges about to apply for a micro-credit through the collaboration between Fekama and Zebunet have followed a first pilot training.

The feedback of the participants to this training was very positive.

Erick, Fekama’s assistant coordinator, explains that “the training has enhanced the image that the young people have of their profession; they see themselves as entrepreneurs and are proud of it. They have become aware of the importance of what is taught in college about farm management.”

A debriefing workshop of the pilot trainings will be held in May 2022 with the participants.

In mid-2022, once the training is finalized, local teams will engage in the construction of a training on the implementation of collective projects.