A year into its role as technical partner for Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) food security project in Madagascar, NCBA CLUSA is exploring market linkages and developing new value chains for local producers.
The project, called Fararano, means “harvest season” in Malagasy and aims to reduce food insecurity and chronic under nutrition and increase resilience in four USAID priority regions of Madagascar, including the country’s eastern coast, which endures frequent hurricanes.
According to CRS, more than half of all households in Madagascar are considered food insecure, with more than 80 percent of the country’s population living on less than USD$2 a day. By integrating agriculture, nutrition and resilience activities, Fararano will significantly improve nutrition and livelihoods.
As technical partner, NCBA CLUSA’s goal is to increase and diversify incomes by linking local producers to national and international markets. Specifically, NCBA CLUSA will impact 360 producer organizations and train more than 1,300 lead farmers. It will also work with private sector Community-Based Service Providers to provide training in improved production and post-harvest techniques.
In late 2015, NCBA CLUSA will organize a lima bean value chain workshop with 100 attendees representing the government, producer organizations, the private sector and financial institutions. NCBA CLUSA has already met with Madagascar’s top two lima bean exporters to confirm their participation. The workshop is expected to identify the challenges facing lima bean value chain expansion and develop a plan to move forward.
By the end of 2015, NCBA CLUSA will also complete a comprehensive assessment of the region’s pepper, vanilla and cinnamon value chains. U.S.-based Frontier Natural Foods Co-op is among companies that have expressed interest in buying black pepper and cinnamon from producers in Madagascar. NCBA CLUSA is also working to connect honey, maize and lychee producers with buyers and exporters.
NCBA CLUSA will provide technical support throughout the life of the Fararano project, which runs through 2019. Fararano is part of a $75 million, two-pronged USAID Food For Peace program in Madagascar expected to directly benefit more than 620,000 people in the country.