The Anaviavy community garden is 20 km in the Ambia urban township, in the Ihosy district, Ihorombe region.
This garden is 25 ares and tended by 6 members (2 women and 4 men); the group leader, Daniel, went to agricultural college. It gets help from Slow Food International’s support in realising the gardens in Africa project for 2016. The members grow tomatoes, “baranjely”, “petsaï”,and “tissam” (leafy vegetables), “voapoa” (solanum indicum, solanaceae), and peas.
In accordance with the Slow Food philosophy, the garden is meant to be, together with local communities, a model for durable agriculture (natural protection against insects and weeds) with local varieties of vegetables.
It applies techniques like green manure to replace the nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. The beneficiaries practice rotation farming in different areas, from one year to the next to break up destructive production cycles.
This garden is cultivated during the rainy season when water is abundant; but irrigation is needed during the dry season. Basically, Daniel has dug 3 wells right next to the planting area.
The members are very cohesive because of Slow Food’s collaboration in setting up the garden. By becoming market gardeners, the members have seasonal and steady income. One part of the harvest is set aside for next season’s seeds; the rest is sold or consumed.
Future projects include growing potatoes, peas, bambara peas and onions, and to be able to become the village’s producer of bean and potato seeds.
Urban township of Ambia, Ihosy district, Ihorombe region
Pierre Olivier Randriamampionona