The Sahavondronina community garden is found in the Ambatovaky quarter of Amindrailo, in the Lalangiana district of the Haute Matsiatra region. More precisely, the crops are grown in a Sahavondronina forest, about a 30 minute walk from the village of the same name and route 45, towards Ranomafana national park. The area dedicated to cultivation is divided between the hills and the nearby rice fields. The surface areas of the 2 plots are 20 and 25 are respectively.
The families that benefit from the garden are members of the 3FT association of Sahavondronina. This association works to protect the environment and encourage sustainable development. The 3FT association has managed a natural forest that is 2077 ha since 2006. Their activities are financed by several partner groups, like Averiko Onlus, Conservation international, Madagascar National Park, and finally the association collaborates with technical partners, like the Voiala Madagascar association, the Haona soa association, and the Vabop Ranomafana center. In total, 4 families of 5 people each are involved in the gardening activities.
The garden is dedicated to rice production during the rainy season, and to the production of cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes as far as off-season crops are concerned, and “morotambina” or taro (colocasia antiquorum), carrots, common varieties of “petsaï” (similar to cabbage but with a sweet flavor), “anamamy” (black nightshade), “anamarebaka”, sugar cane, cassava and ginger round out the seasonal products, while peaches, “bibasse” (medlar fruits) and coffee are the permanent crops.
The garden has an area dedicated to the production of compost. The so-called “morotambina” are arranged in terraces that follow the contours of the hill.
Regarding these “morotambina”, the garden has a pond that serves as a water reservoir for irrigation purposes. The rice fields have fixed sources of water which must be drained in the dry season for the off-season crops.
The producers fertilize the soil with natural products, like manure, compost and clippings.
The community also practices mixed cropping, rotating such crops as:
taro, sugar cane, peaches, loquat, bananas, pineapple, rice, “sakaviro” (a kind of ginger), “tamotamo” (long tumeric), “laisoa”, carrots, potatoes, “anamamy” and “petsaï”.
Insects are fought off with both mechanical and organic methods.
In general, these products are used for personal consumption, but they can also be sold if need be, and each producer must find a market where they can sell their goods.
Amindrailo, Ambatovaky quarter, Lalangiana district, Haute Matsiatra region