Strengthening agricultural advisory services in the context of climate change and the development of digital solutions

To conclude and capitalize the 2020 activities in the framework of the CAADP XP4 project, FCA Madagascar organized an advocacy workshop on the theme: “Strengthening agricultural advisory services in the context of climate change and the development of digital solutions“. The workshop brought together stakeholders (public, private, civil society) in agricultural advisory services and rural development in general.

The threat of climate change in Madagascar agriculture

The importance of agriculture in Malagasy society is indisputable. Indeed, according to the FAO, agriculture employs nearly 80% of the active population and constitutes nearly 26% of Madagascar’s GDP. Nevertheless, paradoxically, Madagascar is still far from food self-sufficiency. One of the causes is the vulnerability of Malagasy farmers to various technical, social, political and economic barriers. This inevitably leads to a decline in their agricultural production. And yet, the threat of climate change is further aggravating this already precarious situation. Madagascar is among the most vulnerable countries with regards to climate change according to the UNDP.

For FCA, it is essential to strengthen extension activities and the scaling up of climate-smart agricultural practices, especially for small producers. The goal is to increase resilience and adaptation capacity. The organization of this advocacy workshop is a small part of a long effort. It has allowed dynamic exchanges between the public sector (the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries through the Director of Agricultural Training and Professionalization of Producers and the representative of FORMAPROD program; the representatives of the Météo Madagascar), AFAAS through its Executive Director, as well as members of the FCA Madagascar.

Passionate discussion between FCA leaders, the Director of Extension and his team, IFAD project and AFAAS during the break.

The future of agricultural advisory services in Madagascar

In addition to fostering exchanges between actors, the workshop also allowed participants to share their vision on the needs of agricultural advisory services in Madagascar. The professionalization of extension workers as well as the strengthening of the pluralistic partnership of agricultural advisory actors were the main points raised by the Director of Agricultural Training and Professionalization of Producers (DFAPP) and by the Executive Director of AFAAS.

The FCA, on the other hand, insisted on the relevance of the use of digital solutions, such as videos, in agricultural extension actions thanks to the results obtained in the field by its members, the Farming and Technology for Africa (FTA) and the AEAS and Green Project Initiative Consortium. Participants had also the opportunity to watch the intervention via video conference of Dr. Rindra RANDRIAMIFIDISON of the Higher Institute of Technology of Ambositra (IST-A) who stressed the importance of taking into account climate variability in the actions of extension and democratization of meteorological information.

Online presentation of a CSA Policy Brief by Dr Rindra during the workshop

In short, the workshop was an opportunity to strengthen the partnership and collaboration between the FCA Madagascar and Ministries. FCA is optimistic about the future of agricultural advisory services in Madagascar.

“Let’s get to work! “as the Director (DFAPP) said.

View the different presentations by clicking on the following link: http://fca-madagascar.org/presentations/