In 2020, Madagascar was affected by a major drought that had a strong impact on agricultural activity. On November 24, 2020, the organizations of the Fifata group organized, with the support of Fert, a national workshop to discuss the problems of access to water for Malagasy farmers and to alert the public authorities. They produced a film to alert them to the urgency of the problem.
(Film available in French only)
In Madagascar, farmers lack water
The rains arrive later each year and are irregular (alternating droughts and floods) and the lack of water has serious consequences for Malagasy agriculture. In the highlands, around the capital Antananarivo, producers have had to abandon the crop on some fields. The drought is also causing insect attacks and additional expenses for water transport. The result is heavy, with losses reaching 50% of income for some farmers.
This problem of water deficit is the consequence of global warming and the destruction of forests. The aging and poorly maintained hydro-agricultural infrastructures do not allow to maintain a sufficient level of water while the number of users increases. This leads to social conflicts for access to water.
Fifata mobilizes on water access issues
The Fifata group accompanies its member producers in the development of agroecological practices, more resilient to climate change. With the support of the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD), Fifata is also creating water reservoirs and helping producers invest in collectively managed motor pumps.
But government intervention is essential. The workshop organized in November aimed to highlight the problems encountered by farmers and to propose viable solutions to the public authorities.
Building infrastructures, defining a concerted management between local authorities and farmers, fighting against bush fires and deforestation and considering farmers’ organizations as strategic actors in the fight against global warming are among the solutions proposed by the Fifata group.