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Malaria Prevention in Fiadanana

Fiarenana Progress Report June 2009

Our next site visit to Fiarenana, weather and circumstances permitting, is planned for the end of June 2009 and we hope to post more pictures about our progress.

Grain storage building
After officially inviting Zahana, the community in Fiarenana had already made bricks for a communal grain or rice storage building, back in 2008.  The building is now built by the community. Zahana provided the corrugate roofing iron, one door, two windows and the cement for the floor and walls. With the rice harvest in full swing, this building is much needed as you read these lines.

Fiarenana Madagascar Rice and grain storage building

The rice storage building almost completed

Seed Bank
Zahana had bought one ton of rice ahead of the harvest from the villagers to serve as a seed bank for the next harvest. This seed stock, giving a new meaning to the term “seed money,” will be stored in the newly built gain storage building alongside the villager’s harvest. Traditionally many villagers sell all the rice they dont eat themselves right after the harvest for much needed cash, since this is the only source for money they have all year. When the next planting season comes around, many of them have to turn to lenders to buy rice seeds on credit for very high rates. To overcome this vicious cycle, Zahana started this seed bank project as another aspect of our micro-credit efforts.

Trucks looking for rice to buy in the Madagascar countryside

Trucks like these roam the country side and buy rice right after the harvest

Further community development steps decided by the community:

Coffee
In June or July, after the rice harvest is over, the community will start planting coffee to grow more then their current subsistence harvest. The improved seeds have been sent to the village on June 2. Coffee plants take 3 to 4 years to bear fruit, so this is a long-term project and investment in the future.

SRI
Fiarenana is ready to learn more and implement SRI (System of Rice Intensification) to improve yields. The request for training came from the villagers and Zahana is delighted to facilitate such a training. SRI was developed over 20 years ago in Madagascar and has been successfully implemented in other countries as well including India or Pakistan.  Please visit the comprehensive Cornell website for more information about SRI.

Animal husbandry
The community is also interested in introducing new verities of poultry and increasing egg production. The community is already experienced in animal husbandry with zebu cattle, pigs, rabbits and chicken and has been asked for help with micro credit to increase these activities beyond subsistence levels to start raising animals for sale.

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