Madagascar: Finding the Sweet Spot for Fine Cacao Farmers and Wildlife

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Mouse lemur living in the lush, cacao filled foressts of Ambanja
Photo: Beyond Good

Madagascar’s incredible biodiversity is slowly disappearing as communities resort to destructive farming practices to cultivate their land. Many of the people responsible are subsistence farmers experiencing food insecurity, who raze forests to make room for more crops.

The problem with this “slash-and-burn” approach to agriculture is that it depletes the soil after just a few seasons, forcing farmers to move to a new plot of land, leading to ever more devastation, and leaving behind a landscape that has been stripped bare. Climate change and economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic have worsened the situation. Today, at least seventy-five percent of Madagascar’s citizens live below the poverty line.

However, an innovative agricultural partnership holds promise for the country’s people and biodiversity. To improve Malagasy livelihoods while preserving forests, USAID has formed an alliance with Beyond Good Chocolate, Akesson’s Chocolate, Guittard Chocolate, Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), and implementer Catholic Relief Services (CRS) that will increaseMadagascar’s production of sustainable fine cacao and spices.

Read the rest of the story on Exposure 

Last updated: October 05, 2021

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