This 50 are prison garden is found in the center of Fianarantsoa, a town in Ankazondrano, in the Fianarantsoa district of the Haute Matsiatra region.
The project was started due to insufficient food for the detainees; a prison worker contacted Voiala Madagascar to ask for help, which the association happily gave. Indeed, the group has been able to profit from this project since November 2014. Slow Food’s 10,000 Gardens in Africa project is the first agricultural development project that works with the penitentiary administration of Fianarantsoa.
Roughly 700 detainees reside in the jail and benefit from the project, with the help of a prison worker who has been put in charge of the garden and the support of the prison warden.
The detainees themselves are involved in the gardening work, and they have organized the work with the garden’s managers.
The garden itself is found close to the prison. The flat land is subdivided into gardening beds, while there were already fruit trees, like bananas, interspersed throughout the terrain. The detainees also have a composting area which helps to fertilize the soil.
The agricultural terrain has a constant source of water for irrigation purposes.
The detainees use only organic fertilizers on the soil, like domestic waste from the prison that is used to make compost. They also use organic methods, along with mechanical means, to fight off insects.
Among the crops grown here are: “taraud” (colocasia antiquorum), zucchini, peppers, peaches, “petsai” (a vegetable in the cabbage family that has a sweet flavor), “pibasy”, rice, “sakaibe”, tomatoes, “bibasse” (medlar fruit), mangoes, avocadoes, bananas, cabbage and carrots.
Downtown Fianarantsoa, Fianarantsoa district, Haute Matsiatra region