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CASTOR OIL HELPS FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY IN MADAGASCAR

Germany’s International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and Research and Technology Exchange Group (Gret) are backing Ambroy villagers (Androy Region) in growing castor oil crops, which is more sustainable and profitable than maize field. The region is facing strong drought, very low level of rainfall and extremely expensive cultivation equipment (beakers of seeds), taking Ambroy villagers, inside strong food insecurity and hunger.

The move from maize field to Castor oil plantation will soon change the landscape of 8 million persons under food insecurity in Madagascar and 83% of Androy who living in the hardest hit area.

In the concerned area, rainfall does not exceeds 600ml a year, but the local castor oil seeds which are suit to local constraints regarding soil, climate and pests, thanks to their high genetic diversity, have failed in front of local natural challenges. They spoil very fast and require quantities of water, fertilizer and pesticide, which Malagasy farmers cannot possibly afford.

Fabrice Lhériteau of GRET, with two selected varieties of castor-oil plant that combine good drought resistance with a much higher, allow for yield 3 times larger than other local species – 700kg of seeds per hectare, as against 250, the amount of cultivate lands is doubled.

The relevant social effect of castor oil cultivation is a big increase in population living under food security. During the first year of the scheme, 6,000 Androy households (30,000 people) may be lift out of food insecurity.

 

                                                                                               The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

 9 February 2015

(Source: The Guardian)