The Andabatoara Morarano community garden is 5 km to the south of Ihosy, in the Ihorombe region.
The land is terraced and located along the Morarano river; it must be watered daily. The site can only be cultivated in the dry season because the rise and ebb of water in the rainy season make this a flood zone risk. The land is estimated to be 13 ares in all.
The garden is tended by 7 members: four women and three men. They practice cultivation diversity like: papaya, chives, “petsaï” (leafy vegetable from Brassica family), onions, sweet potatoes and courgettes. The farmers use exclusively organic fertilisers from vegetable waste that they make on site, enriched with manure from their cattle.
Because this is a community garden, garden work from production to sales is coordinated by a group leader named Andry.
They previously used organic, mechanical and/or physical and manual means, but at the same time, they also used a few pesticides. After being trained, they now use ecological processes for biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than pesticides and other means that have harmful effects.
In addition, the produce from this cultivation diversification plays a double role that is definitely indispensable for the members: it is a food source and a means to purchase daily necessities.
On the other hand, it also helps with their children’s school fees.
Moreover, food safety has been improved by reducing the lean periods.
Ville d’Ihosy, Ihorombe region
Pierre Olivier Randriamampionona