Strengthening and building farmers resilience to the effects of climate change in Madagascar

Marina Moroli
Rural & Agricultural Development Associate

Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world, which is experiencing climatic shocks of ever greater impact and frequencyas well as disturbances in precipitation patterns. Madagascar is provided with abundant natural resources and exceptionally high biodiversity, due to its huge species richness and high number of unique plant, animals and ecosystems. Nevertheless, it undergoes a strong environmental degradation triggered by human activities.

Agricultural potential is very high, rice growing is the most important activity and the country aims to become the Indian Ocean Commission’s rice granary.  The challenges of agricultural development are seizing opportunities linked to climate change, strengtheningresilienceof rural poor to adverse impacts of climate change and promotingsustainable natural resource management and protection of key ecosystems and biological resources.

Marina participated in the project design of thesecond phase of the IFAD funded Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaky Regions (AD2M-II). The project aims at sustainably improving incomes and food security of smallholder growers of two regions located on the western side of Madagascar, both hit by cyclones and floods and also subject to severe erosion. The project touches 44 communes in seven districts and is centered on improving irrigation and the development of rice farming. The ongoing project is directly benefiting57,000 households.

Marina contributed to devise actions related to developing climate information systems, to promote adaptation of agricultural/rural systems to climate change, and to assess environmental, social and climate impact. She conceived actions financed through IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme (ASAP) and aimed atstrengthening and building smallholder farmers resilience to the effects of climate change, in particular through the development of irrigated agriculture including spate-irrigation and natural resource management approaches.

She analyzed the management status of natural resources and evaluated steps needed to maintain their availability and potential for exploitation. She looked at measures to be taken to reverse trends in land degradation, desertification and/or unsustainable agricultural practices (forestry, animal husbandry, etc.) that exceed the carrying capacity of ecosystems. Finally, she identified the potential impacts that project interventions may have on the physical, natural, social and economic context and drew up the social, environmental and climate assessment review note according to IFAD procedures.