This 30 are community garden is found 20 km southeast of the Ihosy district, in the Ohorombe region of Madagascar. This is a small hamlet in the Bekifafa Fokontany, a rural community of Mahasao, in the Ihosy District. The garden is managed by a group of eight people, four women and four men. These members practice mixed cropping, cultivating crops that include: beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, “petsaï” (a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassiceae family), cucumbers, and carrots. The aim is to increase their production in order to bring people out of poverty, and to better understand and master new agricultural techniques. To this end all the families are united with all of their strength.
The soil is fertilized with zebu (a kind of cattle) manure, and never with chemical products. Water is readily available and the quality of the soil is much better than that of the surrounding communities of the region, which allows this garden to have a very good harvest.
Thanks to the collaboration with Slow Food, under the Gardens in Africa project, the members show a strong sense of belonging to the group. They therefore sell their crops as an entire group. Thanks to the sale of their garden’s vegetables, the group members have a periodic and constant source of revenue.
Furthermore, the choice to produce such different crops plays a double role that is of extreme importance for the members of the group: they have a solid food supply and a way to barter for their daily needs.
Moreover, the sale of their produce also helps to pay for their children’s school supplies. Thus the member’s food security is improved thanks to the decrease in the amount of time they have to work.
The efforts and results of these members have been transmitted orally to all of the nearby farmers. Thus many of the neighbors have paid this garden a visit.
Bekifafa Fokontany, Mahasoa rural community, Ihosy district