Our Stories | Madagascar

Last updated: June 15, 2020

June 15, 2020

Vanilla is one of the world’s most familiar and popular flavors. Few people know that the primary source for their vanilla-infused delectable treats is Madagascar. Specifically rugged, remote, rural communities in the northern and north eastern parts of the country. Approximately 75 percent of the world’s vanilla is grown by farmers in Madagascar’s rainforests. The global market price for vanilla has fluctuated dramatically in the past few years (from $50 up to a high of $600 a kilogram).  As the price of vanilla soars, so too does the pressure to clear forests to grow more vanilla. This has resulted in extensive forest fragmentation in and around some Madagascar protected areas, many of which are home to endangered species found nowhere else on earth. 

June 15, 2020

The dry forests of the Menabe region in western Madagascar are world-renowned for the diversity of their plant and animal species, including many found nowhere else on earth. In recent years these forests have faced some devastating threats.

April 5, 2020

Philomène lives in Ambohimanarivo, a village of about 548 households in eastern Madagascar.  The mother of four children, she has served as a Community Health Volunteer (CHV) for more than ten years.  As a CHV, Philomène raises the villagers’ awareness, mobilizing them to participate in all health-related initiatives and providing first level health care to those living far away from  health facilities.

March 21, 2020

In western Madagascar, maize and groundnut farming is booming. The two crops are key economic drivers in the Menabe region and demand is increasing at both national and international levels. As a result of these demands, the Menabe Antimena Protected Area is coming under increasing pressure from land conversion for farming. Unsustainable farming practices and land clearing fires are driving the destruction of the unique Menabe Antimena landscape, home to some of the last remaining dry forests of Madagascar, and directly threaten the biodiversity of the region.

March 6, 2020

Razafiarisoa Fleurette, 57, is a storekeeper at the district pharmacy in Vatomandry, in eastern Madagascar. Her active lifestyle and devotion to her work motivated her to take on a challenge that has benefitted her and her community. The Vatomandry pharmacy supplies 25 health facilities in the district with essential health commodities. In her day-to-day work, Fleurette establishes the pharmacy’s quarterly orders from SALAMA, Madagascar’s central source for essential medical supplies and equipment, receives the health commodities from SALAMA, and prepares deliveries to health facilities.

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