Farmer preferences and the production strategies of agroforestry nurseries in southeastern Madagascar
Agroforestry projects in Madagascar that promote fruit trees address social and environmental threats to rainforests by reducing farmers’ reliance on rice cultivation as long as fruit production is a more economically efficient option. This study aims to understand farmer planting preferences for fruit trees around Ranomafana National Park, specifically related to their ability to transport produce to wider markets. A large social survey assessed current fruit tree cultivation and the fruit planting preferences of farmers, and evaluated differences in farmer preferences based on distance to roads and markets. Survey results from 21 villages and 200 households indicate current fruit cultivation does not correspond well with planting preferences. Households near and far from roads share similar cultivation patterns and planting preferences with one exception: farmers living far from roads prefer to plant coffee significantly more than do those living near roads. This preference for coffee cultivation far from roads is attributed to coffee’s relatively high sales price and ease of transport to buyers. This study also assesses current production in two local agroforestry nurseries and suggests new production priorities, notably focusing on coffee and lychee above the currently emphasized citrus fruits.