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Recommandations pour une agriculture plus écologique respectant les besoins socio - écono-miques locaux, région du Menabe Central, côte ouest de Madagascar

CD Ramohavelo
J-P Sorg
A Buttler
M Reinhard


Dans le Menabe Central (côte ouest de Madagascar), les paysages forestiers deviennent toujours plus ouverts, le taux de déforestation avoisinant les 0,7 % . La déforestation étant notamment due à des défrichements pour l’agriculture qui est la principale activité de la région, une gestion agricole écologiquement durable apparaît comme une nécessité urgente. Afin de ne pas défavoriser les populations locales vivant dans des conditions socio-économiques difficiles (81,3 % de la population malgache vivait encore en - dessous du seuil de pauvreté en 2010), cet aménagement agricole doit également viser à proposer des  recommandations socio - économiquement rentables. Cette étude vise donc à confirmer l’hypothèse selon laquelle une agriculture plus écologique – permettant aux agriculteurs de se sédentariser sur leurs terres et diminuant les défrichements forestiers – qui fournirait des produits économiquement rentables sur le long terme répondrait aux nécessités socio-économiques et écologiques locales. La présente étude conclut en mettant en évidence quatre recommandations : i) La riziculture devrait être privilégiée ; ii) les techniques agro - forestières et les utilisations de fertilisants naturels devraient être encouragées ; iii) des alternatives permettant de diversifier le revenu des populations rurales, telle que la rizipisciculture, devraient être soutenues ; et iv) un aménagement des surfaces sylvicoles défrichées devrait être mis en place de manière participative.

In the Central Menabe region on the west cost of Madagascar, traditional uses of forest resources create an increasingly open landscape. The current annual rate of loss of Malagasy dense dry forest, the natural forest type of the region, is 0.7 % . Agriculture represents the principal activity of people in Central Menabe, and the main reason for the decrease in forest cover. In the current difficult socio-economical context (81.3 % of the Malagasy population lived under the poverty line in 2010), where a threat to dry forests clearly exists, it is therefore urgent to propose scientifically-sound and participatory recommendations for ecologically sustainable and socio - economically profitable agricultural use of the Central Menabe landscape. The objective of this study is to confirm the hypothesis that a more sustainable form of agriculture – promoting farmers’ permanent use of cultivated fields – would generate high value economic products, and contribute to the socio - economic and environmental needs of the region. To meet this objective, the study answers three research questions: i) What are the principal products of the villager economy? ii) what is the role of traditional agriculture in deforestation?; and, iii) what is the potential for, and the expectations of the local populations towards, more sedentary agricultural techniques? The research uses methods from both social (scoring and questionnaires) and natural sciences (inventories and measures of clearings), and was carried out in six villages representative of the Central Menabe region. Two villages mainly practiced rice cultivation, two mainly carried out slash and burn cultivation (of maize, cassava and peanut), and two practiced both slash and burn and rice cultivation. Half of the villages were situated near a national road and have thus an easy access to regional markets; the three other villages were more remote. In total 120 inhabitants were involved in 72 different scoring exercises and 288 participated in a questionnaire survey. Mann-Whitney and chi - square tests were used to test for statistical significance in observed differences.
Analyses confirm that rice is the main pillar of the villager economy in the region, and that – at the village scale – this product serves a strong commercial demand which is not always satisfied. Farmers take a weak interest in the consumption of products from slash and burn cultivation (low demand), although the majority of people that cultivate maize, cassava or peanut perceive slash and burn cultivation as a source of alimentary or financial security (subsistence or sale). Given